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P.O.Box 811- Elvria,Ohio44036 

800 - 535-4290 

Tech Info & Fax 216-926-3842 
-V 9AM- 9PM EST CALI, for catalog 

1040 STe-$399 
Mega STe 1- $659 
mega special - $995 

2ni«gfti50IID/l>tM Floppy 

ST Book & Falcon- !!CALL!! 

F STe SIMMS Imeg each - $40 
I SM147 14”-$199 
I SC1224-$200 

SC1435 14” color-$349 
Atari 1.4Meg floppy kit - $139 ] 

ihtmoru llflcradffi ^^ fflisc hardtoarc ^^B iUisc Itiardvuarc 

Z-Raiti - 2.5 or 4 megs - $85 

with chiiM 15M- $157 ASf- $229 

Z-Rain/2.5- 520 ST- $75 

wUh dti|M 2.5M- $147 

i^Ram/Mega II- 4Mc£s - $75 

with rhl|ja 2.5M- $147 

1 Meg Chips $4.50 ea 
Simms - $40ea 
JRl Board (uses simms)- $99 
Xtra RAM ST Deluxe- $79 

(uses simms) 

f loppu Wnm 


Master 5S (5.25”) - $199 


Supra 2400 baud - 5^94 
Supra 2400 Plus- $149 
Zoom 2400-$74 
Zoom2400V.42bis- $146 
Zoom AFX 2400- $89 

V^7400b<l iiiodcfii wl9600bd wndrnx 4800 reedve 

Zoom FX9624 - $127 

2400 bd modetn w/9600ariKl / iwhre fax 

■ Straight Fax-$59.95 

iii (required software for all IMed Pax niodema) 

I ^pra 9600 v32 w/Fax- $269 
ii Supra 9600 v32hLs w/pax- $349 
( ZOOM 9600 V32 -$285 

9600 .Moelcin w/V42bb A Pax 

; ZOOM 14400 V32-$309 

l\ 14400 Modem w/V^b * Pax 

TuaJitum 52Meg IVMs -$ 

[ Quantum 105Meg 17Ms -$369 | 
f Quantum 170Meg 17Ms -$559 | 
{ Quantum 240Meg 17Ms -$699 < 
Maxtor 65Meg - $269 
Maxtor 85Meg- $329 
[ Maxtor 120Meg 15msec- $399 
Fujitsu 330Meg-$1156 
Fiyitsu 425Meg- $1219 
Fujitsu 520Meg- $128 
SyQuest 44M removable-$349 

i SyQuest 88M removable-$469 

AdSpeed- $239 
Adspeed STFE- $249 
Autoswitch Overscan- $109 
Blitz cable w/software - $46.95 
D.F.K.A interface- $95 
Drive Master - $32 
Drive cable 6 ft $13.95 
DVT-VCR hd backup- $69.95 
Flashdrive I ID caseiporifoMo)- $139 
Hand Scanner Migrapii- $269 
Hand Scanner Golden uiu«e $215 
HP Deslget 500 printer - $469 
ICD Adscsi Plus - $93.77 
ICD Adscsi (no clock) - $83.77 
ICD Adscsi Micro (Mega*8) - $77 
50pin SCSI dual drive cable - $10 
ICD Cleanup ST - $25 
Lantech LAN- $299 
Mega Touch Springs - $9.49. 
Monitor Master - $32 
Monitor Stand w/5 outlets- $46 
Mouse Master - $26 
Mouse mats - $5 
Mouse (Opto-Mechanical) - $37 
Mouse (O|)(0<Mccli. w/Deluxe paiu!)- $45 

Mouse (Optical)- $53.95 
Mouse (Cordless)- $80 
Mousestick (Gravis)- $65 
IB Multi Sync Swiichbox- $53.95 
Panasonic KPX-1124i -$319.95 
Panasonic KPX-1123 -$234.95 
AT Speed C16 (iiRvraz)- $369 

Speed Bridge (Mega) - $65 
Spectre GCR(cart)- $215 
Printer or Modem CaNe • $7 
Star NXIOOI -$155 
Star NX-2420 - $249 
ST/time (under rom clock) - $43 t 
Supercharger W/1 Meg - $289 g 
Synchro 11 - $59 | 

TEC (Tos extension card)- $135 | 
TEC Mega bus- $155 i 

TOS 2.06 - $70 

TC Power (for IBM amUstor*) - $39.95 
Trackbidl(Kran)- $59 
Trackball(cordless)- $88 
Turbo 20- $299 
I Turbo 25- $359 

I Tweety Board - $30.95 

r Vidi ST-$124.95 

i Vidi-Chrome ST - $34.95 
: Vidi RGB - $109.95 

i Vidi Color Kit - $259.95 
Z-KeyS (mt IB.M krybosrd) - $59.95 


'Icttj 3oftttiarc 

Bonanza Bros, - $39.95 
Cool Croc Twins - $41.95 
D/Geueration- $29.95 
Lure of the Temptress- $48.95 
H(M)k- $46.95 
G-Man 3.0- $39.95 
Utopia the New Worlds- $36.95 

Complete assembled unit, using ICD ADSCSI Plus / ICD ADSCSI or Supra host(w/clock) and 
, software, hard drive, SCSI cable, and fan! Ready to plug in and use.. Ail units have a one year 
warranty. (Syquest & Quantum drives 2 years). All available for 220V 50HZ. 

Case A: our budget Case $69 

Case B: our shoebox Case $89 

3.5"H X 15"W X IS-L 

Case C: our deluxe Case $119.95 

HD Size 

Case A 















































44 Syquest $579 



88 Syquest $729 



3.5” floppy in second opening- $90 

rnthmi . . . 

AtariFest '92 

October • 10 & 11 • 1992 

Sheraton-Reston Hotel 

11810 Sunrise Valley Dr. Reston, VA 22091 

ftHti & mac ei 
art g 

& fftf s ri 

-Jr ^ 

- lO'fejft 

r>1|| f' 

Show hours are 10am until 5pm both days 


$5.00 for one day, or $8.00 for both days 

For general information, contact Ken Fassler or Betty Burchell at WAACE DTACK, 301-229-1886. 
You may also address any query to Charles Hoffmann, WAACE President, at 5908 Bayshire 
Road, Springfield, VA 22152-1146, or via telecommunications on GEnie: S. HOFFMANN, 
CIS: 73740,1507, or Delphi: CHUCKHOFFMAN. 

Telephone for hotel reservations: 1-800-392-ROOM 

Hotel rates are $59 per night, single or double occupancy, and $66 triple or quad. These rates are valid from October 8 
through 11. In order to obtain these special rates, you must mention AtariFest *92. 

AtariFest *92 is presented by the Washington Area Atari Computer Enthusiasts 

(■urreat Notes (ISSN 8750-1937) is pub¬ 
lished monthly (excluding January and Au¬ 
gust by Current Notes Inc. 122 N. Johnson 
Rd, Sterling VA 20164 (703) 450-4761. Di¬ 
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Notes are available for $27/year (see below). 
Second Class postage paid at Sterling, VA 
and other offices. ___ 

POSTMASrrKR: Send address changes to 
Current Notes, Inc., 122 N Johnson Rd, Ster- 
ling, VA 20164. _ 

Opinions expressed in this publication are 
those of the individual authors and do not 
necessarily represent or reflect the opinions 
of Current Notes. Current Notes is not affil¬ 
iated in any way with Atari Corp. 
PUBLISHER: Joe Waters, 122 N Johnson 
Rd, Sterling VA 20164 (703) 450-4761. 
ST EDITOR; Frank Sommers, 4624 Lang- 
drum Ln, Chevy Chase MD 20815 (301) 
656- 0719. 

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GENIE: Toad-Serv. 

( N COLUMNISTS: John Barnes, Richard 
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RACK I.SSUF^S: 1987/88 ($1.50 ea), 1989, 
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Table of Contents 
September 1992 


8 Atari Falcon 030 - by Sam Tramiel 

Atari President Sam Tramiel announces the new Atari Falcon 
030 at GEnie Atari ST Roundtable Conference. Here arc 

26 GEMULATOR - by Milt Creighton 

A preview peek at the Atari ST Emulator for use with MS*DOS 
and Windows on PC platforms. 

32 Findex V - by Don Elmore 

Simple and easy data and text storage and retrieval system. 

36 Making Fountains with Outline Art - by David Harkin 

It’s simply amazing what your software and computer can do; 
if only you know how! Here are some tricks for spectacular art 

48 ProBid - by Paul Summit! 

A SynCalc template for a video and film production planner. 

54 The Ultra Speed Plus OS - by Charles A. Cole 
The operating system Atari should have installed. 

56 TOS and DOS - by Michael Wolf 
Co-existence on one monitor, at last. 

58 Deutcros - by James Parker 

As the commander of Earth City, capture the world! 

60 Gods - by Alfred Giovetti 

Action with a touch of intellectual challenge. 

62 Pacific Islands - by Mike Heininger 
How come all games aren’t like this? 

64 Legend - by Fred Perdval 
Too much of a bland thing. 

66 Fore! Golf Simulations - by Mike Heinin^r 
It all started with Leader Board. 

68 Multiplay - by Bill Moes 

Math exporation, discovery, and practice, for children 5-11. 

Page 2 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 


Editorial, by Joe Waters 4 

Letters to the Editor 6 

Show Announcements 3 

AtariFcst ’92 7 

Atari Classics on the Way 35 

8-Bit Tidbits, by Richard Reaser 42 

Connecting Your Classic 

Junkyard Pussycat, by John Barnes 26 

Cultural Impoverishment 
Myths and Mysteries, by Dave Troy 22 

Moving Toad, Making Tadpoles 
Small World, by Dave Small 70 

Coin’ to School 

ST Toolbox, by J. Andrzej Wrotniak 18 

Otto’s RCS, High Speed Pascal 
ST Update, by Frank Sommers n/a 

(Still on vacation.) 

Starting Block, by Richard Gunter 30 

Fragments and Dungeons 


tP in a 

If moviflig, 

MicDAd class tJS mail the post ofl 8 eo does ooi 
fisHrvraod second claw jjuldicidlonsi tlwjf thiw 

The cover: This spectacular bcc, produced with 
Spectrum, is one of the fine pictures our current genera¬ 
tion of Atari ST/Mega computers can generate and show. 
We are all now anxiously awaiting the pictures the new 
Atari Falcon 030 will display. Photo by Mike Heiningcr, 
(c) 1992. 


August 23-24: Dusseldorf Atari show. 

\jOok for Alari to unveil the Falcon at this huge Atari show 
in Germany. Third party vendors are also expected to 
unveil a number of new Atari-related products. CN will 
provide full details in our October issue. 

September 12-13: The Qlendale Show 

Southern California's Atari Faire has had the largest 
annual attendance of any continuing show series. Version 
6.0 of this show will be held at the Glendale College 
Auditorium as in past years. For more information about 
the Glendale Show, contact John King Tarpinian at 
818-246-7286 or leave Email on GRnie to 

September 19-20: Montreal AtarlFest 

Festival Atari de Montreal et Environs — FAME - will be 
holding an Atarifest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The 
event will be held at the Monkland Centre, N.D.G., 4410 
W. Hilla Avenue in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 

September 23: Falcon Intro to US 

Atari will unveil its new Falcon 030 at the meeting of the 
Boston Computer Society scheduled for September 23 at 
7:30 pm in the New England \a(c Hall in the Copley 
Square Building, 225 Clarendon St., Boston, MA. 

October 10 -11: The WAACE Atarifest ’ 92 

The lai^est east coast Atarifest will be held, once more, at 
the Sheraton-Reston Hotel, 11810 Sunrise Valley Dr, 
Reston VA 22091 from 10am — 6pm Saturday and Sunday. 
For more information contact Charles Hoffmann at 

October 24: Atari Safari ’92 

The Houston Atari Computer Enthusiasts arc sponsoring 
their third annual .computer show, the largest show in 
Texas and surrounding States. Call Harold Galley (713) 
988 -4772 for more information. 

November 16 - 20: Fail COMDEX 

The biggest computer trade show in the USA is held, once 
more, in I^s Vegas, Nevada. 

December 12-13: No. CA Atari Expo 

The Northern California Atari Expo will be held at the 
San Jose Exhibit Hall, 145 W. San Carlos, San Jose, CA. 
For more info, call (510) 352—8118 or send Email on 
GEnie to M.WARNER8. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 3 

by Joe Waters 

Anyone familiar with computer technology is aware that 
this is an area where we have seem dramatic, and continuing, 
changes. But, I suggest, wc arc now entering a period where 
there is going to be an even more dramatic shift in what is 
considered “mainstream” personal computing. 

In the Intel world, we have watched the first 8088— 
based computers move to the 8086, the 80286, the 80386, and 
now the 80486. IBM followers will remember the PC, the 
XT, the AT, and the PS/2 series of computers. They may not 
want to remember the 3270 PC, the PC Jr., and the IBM PC 
portable. Apple advocates have seen the Apple, Apple II, Ap¬ 
ple in, Lisa, Mac, Mac Plus, Mac SE, a whole host of Mac 
II nx)dcls, and the Quadra. Atari owners have seen the 400, 
800, 800XL, 800XE, 130XE, 520 ST, 1040ST, Mega ST, 1040 
STe, Mega STc, TT, and, soon, the Falcon. These lists don’t 
even include all the models that have been introduced. Simi¬ 
lar product evolutions can be cited for Commodore, Tandy, 
and other companies. 

Obviously, there has been a lot of change, a lot of “new” 
models introduced. Why should this period be any more sig¬ 
nificant than a year ago or two years ago? 

Atari owners are well aware that the move from the 8— 
bit Atari to the 520 ST marked a major change in Atari’s 
computing platform. Although there were a lot of 8—bit mod¬ 
els, they were all, essentially, the same technology. Each new 
model introduced only minor improvements. The same is 
true of the ST/Mcga line. Wc have seen several succeeding 
new product introductions, but they all, by and large, repre¬ 
sented the technology first introduced with the Atari 520ST. 
The Falcon, with its 68030 CPU and MultiTOS operating 
system, is the first in Atari’s next generation computers. 

On the Intel side, the change coming is also going to be 
dramatic. If you purchased an IBM AT six years ago and an 
IBM PS/2 last year, from a user’s perspective, there would be 
very little different in these machines. Running DOS-based 
programs, the new machines would perform much faster than 
the older ones (faster CPU, faster hard drives, better moni¬ 
tors), but dBASE, or Lotus 123, or Microsoft Hbrd, would all 
work essentially the same way. 

Two things have happened this past year to make a dra¬ 
matic change in the mainstream PC marketplace. Microsoft 
has introduced Windows 3.1 and this program, which puts a 
graphical user interface on the mainstream PCs, has taken 
over the market. Windows has been around for some time, 
and people have purchased it since it was first released. How¬ 
ever, they didn’t often use it. On all but the fastest, newest 
generation PCs, the system was Just too slow. It was far more 
productive to Just switch back to DOS to get your work done. 
And the fastest, newest PCs were, of course, very expensive 
and relatively rare in the vast PC marketplace. 

Because of the recession, or whatever the cause, the 
price situation has changed significantly in the past year. PC 

prices have been reduced sorpe 40 to 50 percent. Even in a 
fast-moving technology area, this is a huge drop in prices in 
a single year. 386-bascd computers, complete with color 
monitors, hard drives, and software, can be had for about the 
same thing early Atari pioneers paid for the 16K Atari 800 
computer with disk drive. A 33 Mh/ 486 PC, with 8 Mb of 
memory, a 200+ Mb hard drive, a super VGA color monitor, 
and, of course, some software thrown in, can be had for well 
under $3,000. This kind of machine is very fast. 

This combination of maturing of the PC Windows soft¬ 
ware and the dramatic drop in price of muscle machines 
means that a fast, efficient graphical user interface on the PC 
is not only possible, it is becoming .standard In addition, we 
will sec a new multi-tasking operating .system from Mi¬ 
crosoft that competes with IBM’s OS/2 and starts tapping the 
power inherent in the design of the 386 and 486 Intel chips. In 
the coming year, windows applications will take over the mar¬ 
ket as users move to these new machines. Users who still have 
286 or older technology will find that they can’t run the new 
operating systems or the new “graphical” applications. The 
value of their computer systems will drop os dramatically as 
did the value of the Atari 8—bit computers. 

Atari ST/Mega owners will not be as impressed with all 
these developments as PC owners. Their monitors do, indeed, 
look very nice. But wc have enjoyed a grapincal user inter¬ 
face, and graphically-based application programs, for years. 
In addition, those used to the Atari, or Mac, interfaces will 
find Windows (or IBM’s Presentation Manager) rather clumsy 
and inelegant. 

Similarly, no Atari owner will be overly impressed with 
the speed of 386-based ^sterns running a gra|)hical applica¬ 
tion. His Atari, particularly with third party accelerators, is 
pretty darn fast itself. Even 486 systems won’t be able to leave 
the Mega STs, boosted with the third-party 68030 boards, 
behind in the dust. 

Now, we wait for the arrival of the next generation Atari, 
the Falcon. It promises to be compatible with our current in¬ 
vestment in ST/Mcga software, but what new wondrous capa¬ 
bilities will it allow? Only time will tell. It has been dcsigr^ed 
with an internal direct processor slot for 386SX PC emula¬ 
tion. So, Atari owners can work in both their traditional Atari 
world as well as the more dominant PC world. The Gemula- 
tor, previewed in this issue, also gives Atari owners a choice 
on how to work in both worlds with a single computer. 

Many questions about the new Falcon remain, but they 
will have to wait for awhile. Wc will bring you complete cov¬ 
erage of the German introduction of the Falcon next month. 
Stay tuned to Current Notes for complete coverage of this 
transitionary period. 

Page 4 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 




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Forbes Trashes Atari 
Dear Editor, 

I was surprised the other day in review¬ 
ing the posted messages on the GEnie ST 
Bulletin Board that there wasn’t any mention 
of the Forbes Magazine article on Atari Cor¬ 
poration (Forbes, August 3, 1992 entitled 
“Cheap Didn’t Sell,” by Dyan Machan). Per¬ 
haps for those of us who have closely fol¬ 
lowed the fortunes of Atari through maga¬ 
zines such as yours, the thrust of this article 
was really not surprising. Permit me to high¬ 
light the more salient points for those who 
may have missed it. 

At one time Atari, while under 
Warner Communications, employ¬ 
ed 10P00 people worldwide with sales 
over $2 billion. After problems with 
poor-quality computer games, Jack 
Tramiel was able to buy the company 
from Warner in 1984 for $240 million in 
promissory notes. To his credit, he built 
sales back up to just under $500 mil¬ 
lion (after a $^ million loss in 1983). 

Last year sales were $258 million. 
First quarter 1992 losses were $14 mil¬ 
lion on $44 million in sales and second 
quarter sales are due to be far worse. 
Twenty-seven (27) executives have ei¬ 
ther resigned or been fired in the past 
30 months. 

The article goes on to say that Jack 
Tramiel made a common mistake. “He 
tried to duplicate a past success under 
very different market conditions." He 
sought to capitalize on his European 
contacts from his Commodore days but 
alienated European software producers 
for the ST line by giving away pre-pack¬ 
aged software with sales of the ma¬ 
chines. With any advantage of software 
selling the hardware beginning to fade 
for the ST, PC computer makers such as 
Dell, Leading Edge and others were 
able to begin successfully selling inex¬ 
pensive machines in Europe. Last year. 
Atari’s European sales dropped to $209 
million from $342 million in 1990. Of 
course, Apple and Commodore were 
busy locking up shelf space in the U.S. 

The plan to have Federated Group 
act as Atari distribution outlets proved to 
be another costly error. Paying $67 mil¬ 
lion for the chain in 1987, Tramiel put his 
youngest son, Garry, in his mid-twen¬ 

ties, in charge. Apparently, he wasn’t up 
to the task because a year later Feder¬ 
ated lost $124 million and Atari closed 
the stores. 

In videogames. Atari spent 
$300P00 promoting its 78(X) system. 
Nintendo and Sega spent $15 million 
each promoting theirs to gain 80% mar¬ 
ket share. 

The Lynx in 1989 was a far superior 
machine to the competition. However, 
Tramiel had cut his software develop¬ 
ment down so much that the Lynx only 
had four or five games to Nintendo’s 
more than 80. Atari spent next to nothing 
on national advertising (where have I 
heard this before?!) resulting in Ninten¬ 
do’s Gameboy garnering 80%-i- of the 

The Tramiels seem to operate the 
company under a penny wise pound 
foolish philosophy. For example, the sen¬ 
ior Tramiel is reported to personally 
check expense reports to see that res¬ 
taurant gratuities don’t exceed 15%. (His 
income undoubtedly vastly exceeds 
whatever minor dollar benefits might ac¬ 
crue. Sounds analogous to Nero fiddling 
while Rome burned.) 

The Falcon 030 is due out within 
the next twelve months as well as the 
latest videogame console, the Jaguar. 
However, the article points out that to 
have any real chance of making an im¬ 
pact, promoting these products would 
require close to $40 million. That is al¬ 
most all of the cash Atari has. Indeed, 
the company needs $24 million just to 
cover its annual overhead. So what are 
we looking at? Another great product 
killed by lack of promotion? 

The article concludes with a quote 
from a company Insider, who says, “The 
Tramiels are not stupid. But their formula 
for success worked only once. They are 
not adaptable people.” 

After 14 years on >\^11 Street, I have to 
say that it is a relatively rare situation to have 
a company which had such a vastly superior 
product (the ST in 1985) and in spite of it, 
blew whatever competitive edge it had 
through gross mismanagement. Here it is 
seven years after the introduction of the ST 
and its unique GUI (graphical user inter¬ 
face), and the hot topic of conversation is 
Windows for the PC ... seven years later! 

Atari had a fantastic lead and simply 
watched it evaporate. 

In my opinion, the best thing the 
Tramiels could do is to follow the example of 
Steve Jobs when he hired John Sculley from 
PepsiCo to run the marketing of Apple’s com¬ 
puters. Like the Sculley-Jobs situation, this 
person, whoever he might be, should have a 
contract structured so as to allow them a free 
hand in doing whatever needs o be done to 
turn this company around and reassert its 
technical prowess. No looking over the 
shoulder, no second guessing. The Tramiels 
should just fall on their swords, so to speak. 
Of course, given their game plan to date, I 
doubt Jack and company are looking to make 
a graceful, albeit necessary, exit. I fear the 
company will either be run into the ground 
or sold, broken and bleeding, before this al¬ 
ternative is enthusiastically embraced. 

In the final analysis, the most important 
consideration for Atari is my opinion and 
that of others like me who are nH)tivated to 
be purchasers of new equipment in the near 
future. This seems to be something which 
Atari has woefully forgotten. In this respect, 
the bottom line for me as a business user of 
Atari computers (since 1984) is that my work 
and the competition in the marketplac'e from 
other vendors, who provide scrvic'cs similar 
to mine, are forcing me to upgrade to a faster 
processing platform. My brand loyalty is not 
easily swayed. However, as a business in¬ 
vestment, there is a bigger picture which I 
must consider, i.e. sohwarc availability as 
well as manufacturer suihility. I honestly 
cannot say with confidence whether Atari 
will remain in business over the next year or 
two. Also, in some respects the company’s 
emphasis on Europe and ostensible neglect 
of the U.S. market has already answered that 
question. If Atari has decided not to service 
the American market, why stiould I make 
my business life difficult and try to paddle 
upstream by purchasing their product (if you 
can even get it)? 

I have thought long and hard about my 
next computer arxJ have yet to make up my 
mind. But, I must tell you in all honesty that 
the underlying truth, as delineated in the 
Forbes article, does not enhance the prob¬ 
ability that Atari will benefit from that ulti¬ 
mate decision. 


Peter von Nessi 

The Normandy Group, Inc. 

[See Sam Tramiel’s GEnie Conference tran¬ 
script elsewhere in this issue for Atari’s re¬ 
sponse to the Forbes article. —JW] 

Page 6 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

Needed: B & W Cookbook 
Dear CN, 

I am looking for a good cookbook pro¬ 
gram for the ST or the Mac that does not re¬ 
quire a color monitor. 

Roger Smith 
Wadesboro, NC 

Help with DIM & SB! 

Dear Current Notes: 

I’ve written to ST Informer, AIM, and 
other Atari computer magazines before about 
the trouble I’ve had with FTL’s Dungeon 
Master and Chaos Strikes Back, I’ve yet to 
receive an adequate response if one at all. 
But I’ll tiy one more time. 

My system is a Mega ST with TOS 1.2 
and four megabytes of RAM, 20 megabyte 
hard disk drive, SLM804 Laser Printer and 
monochrome and color monitors. I pur¬ 
chased a complete package in October 1988. 
Since then. I’ve purchased many software ti¬ 
des, many games, some utilities. Most pro¬ 
grams I’ve experienced compatibility prob¬ 
lems with involve the game software. None 
have irritated me so much as the FTL game 
software problems. 

The Dungeon Master program runs 
flawlessly, except for the SAVE function. No 
matter what I do, when I try to load a saved 
game, the response is **data dami^ed on 
disk.” The program is saving something to 
disk. I’ve seen the file that it has created. Do 
you know what could be causing this and its 

I’ve heard that some programs have 
trouble with systems that have four mega¬ 
bytes of RAM. Could this be what is hap¬ 
pening? I know that there is a program 
called MAKEIMEG.TOS that seems to cure 
some programs. Do you think this program 
would solve my problem? 

One individual from another Atari 
magazine suggested my disk drive might be 
misaligned. This doesn’t make much sense 
because I have no problem saving data to the 
disk drive. 

This problem has been one big 
headache for me. For years. I’ve tried to 
learn the secret to my woes. No one has 
helped me yet. I’d appreciate your sugges¬ 
tions or those of your readers. FTL has 
turned deaf ears. As you know. Dungeon 
Master can’t be played without the SAVE 

feature. I can’t even begin to play Oiaos 
Strikes Back, Any help you could provide 
would be most appreciated. 

Thank you, 

Kevin Masterson 

Down Side to Sparta Switch 
Dear Joe Voters, 

I did install the switches on the SPAR¬ 
TA DOS X cartridge as outlined in the arti¬ 
cle ’^Solving the Sparta DOS X Incompat¬ 
ibility Hassle,” by Charles A. Cole from the 
June 1992 issue of Current Notes, The modi¬ 
fication did, indeed, work as described in 
the article. There is, however, a down side to 
this project. When the Sparta DOS X car¬ 
tridge is in the switched off position, you 
cannot do a cold start from DOS such as Op¬ 
tion M — E477 because then the, computer 
goes into its self test mode and you cannot 
get out of it unless you turn it off. When I 
ran a memory check with the cartridge in¬ 
stalled in the off position, it showed several 
bad memory locations. When I removed the 
cartridge and repeated the test, the memory 
checked out O.K. I think you should be 
aware of these limitations to the project. 

Ron Fetzer 
Elmont, NY 

On to Atarifest ’92! j 

Okay folks, here we go again. The WAACE A(ari- 
Fest ’92 is just around the corner. Coming on October 10 
and 11 to the Sheraton Reston Hotel in Reston, VA, a 
nearly suburb of Washington, DC, the show is ready to 
roll. Local as well as out-of-town user groups are band¬ 
ing together to produce the premier east coast Atari 
computer show. A truly great event is planned, and all 
that is now needed is an enthusiastic turnout of atten¬ 
dees. If past precedent holds, we’ll see a lot of your 
faces there, with everyone having an exciting time. 

New software and hardware always appear at Atar- 
iFest, and rumor has it that the Falcon will be here in 
the hands of a developer or two. MIDI is going to be a 
major event this year, illustrating a particularly strong 
suit of the ST, STe line. User groups will be on hand of¬ 
fering software and help to users, and The Swap Room 
should be at least as much of a hit as it was last year. 

Productivity software is expected to be more preva¬ 
lent than ever considering the terrific European imports 
that are rapidly becoming available, and plenty of demos 
are scheduled. If you enjoy games, your appetite should 
be satisfied in the Games Room which will offer the 
gamut of Atari’s offerings over the years. Couple all this 
with a full slate of seminars, the banquet and lots of 
demonstrations, and you’ve got a veritable feast for the 
Atari advocate. 

You really don’t want to miss this event. Lots of 

folks come for both days, and a two day pass saves you 
money. It’s quite difficult to take it all in in one day. Lots 
of door pri'res are to be awarded to persons attending 
AtariFest with drawings being held nearly every hour. 
Bargain^ You bet! Some like you’ve never seen, espe¬ 
cially on Sunday; but you’ve got to come to play. Atar- 
iFest has a wonderful vendor exposition, with many re¬ 
tail dealers and lots of your favorite software and hard¬ 
ware developers. 

For you out-of-towners, the Sheraton Reston is 
making special rates available from October 8 through 
11. Call the hotel at 1-800-ROOM for reservations. It’s 
quite a party we’re ^oing to have, and we enjoy meeting 
the great folks from beyond the Washington metro area. 
Hope to see you here! 

Commit this to your memory banks: WAACE 
AtariFest ’92, October 10 through 11 at the Sheraton Re¬ 
ston Hotel, 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 
22091. Show hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. both days, 
and admission is $5.00 for one day or $8.00 for both. 
Need more information? Call Ken Fassler or Betty 
Burchell at WAACE DTACK, 301-229-1886 in Bethes- 
da, MD. You may also write to WAACE, P.O. Box 
4079, Merrifield, VA, 22116 l 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 7 

Atari President Sam Tramiel Announces the New 


at GEnie Atari ST Roundtable Conference 

[On Wednesday, August 12th, Sam Tramiel, President 
of Atari, was the feature speaker at a GEnie RealTime 
Conference focused on the new Atari Falcon 030 com¬ 
puter. Reprinted below are the highlights of that con¬ 
ference. Note: names are represented by the GEnie us¬ 
er identification codes. -JW] 

[Sysop] JEFF.W: On behalf of the Atari ST 
Roundtable, 1 welcome all of you to the Atari Corpora¬ 
tion RealTime Conference featuring Sam Tramiel, 
president of Atari.... 

Later this month. Atari will be unveiling the Fal¬ 
con 030 to the world at the Atari Messe in Duesseldorf 
Germany. The Falcon has generated a lot of specula¬ 
tion and rumors over its features and abilities, as well 
as hopes for the future of Atari in the computer indus¬ 

Tonight we get a sneak preview of the Falcon. Be¬ 
fore the crowds at Atari Messe get to ogle the Falcon, 
Sam Tramiel will give us a guided tour and answer 
our questions. 

1 know that many of you will have questions you’ll 
wish to ask Sam, so I’ll try to get to as many of you as 
I can. When it is your turn, you’ll get to ask only one 
question during that turn. But you may have as many 
turns as time allows. After you ask your question, [use 
the] /RAl [command to raise] your hand again to be 
put back in line. 

The purpose of this Realtime Conference is to get 
out factual information about the Falcon. Anything 
else that Sam is prepared to share with us will be icing 
on the cake. Please understand if Sam cannot answer 
specific questions about things like marketing, future 
products, and other non-Falcon related questions at 
this time. 

Sam, thank you for being with us this evening. I 
understand you have some prepared text to upload to 
us about the Falcon. You may begin the upload at your 

STRAMIEL: Good evening, all. I’m very pleased to be 
here on our official online service, GEnie once again. 
We’re excited to be celebrating the 20th anniversary 
of Atari Corporation this year. We’re especially ex¬ 
cited because this is a time that we can introduce an¬ 
other milestone product to the world. 

I’d like to take this opportunity to recognize some 
people who have been close allies of Atari Corpora¬ 

tion. The entire staff of the Atari RTs on GEnie, under 
the leadership of Darlah Potechin have been providing 
stellar support to our customers for a number of years 
now. I’m grateful for the support of Darlah, Sandy 
Wilson, Jeff Williams and the rest of the GEnie RT 
staff in supporting our mutual customers. We’ve just 
signed a new agreement with GEnie, that wilt ensure 
the continuation of GEnie being our online home. 

In addition. I’m pleased to welcome the new pub¬ 
lishers of Atari Explorer Magazine, Mike Lindsay to 
Sunnyvale as well. As most of you know, we’ve 
brought Explorer in to our corporate headquarters. 
John Jainschigg has moved on to other challenges, and 
Mike Lindsay and Darren Meer are now at the helm 
of Atari Explorer. Our online magazine. Atari Ex¬ 
plorer Online, is under the able leadership of Ron Ko- 
vacs. Ron is best known for his years of experience as 
the publisher of Z*Net Online Magazine. 

Tonight, we’re pleased to be able to finally an¬ 
nounce the Atari Falcon 030 Computer. This computer 
will be unveiled to the buying public at the Duessel¬ 
dorf Atari Messe in Germany next week. The Falcon 
is a machine that we’re very excited about We think 
that it places us back in the forefront of the “Power 
without the Price” place in the market. 

Here’s the specs on the Atari Falcon 030: 


Motorola 68030 running at 16 Mhz 
32-bit Bus 

Optional 68881 or 68882 FPU 
RAM: 1,4, or 14 megs 
Standard Atari Cartridge Port 
Motorola 56001 DSP chip 
Expansion Bus: 

Internal direct processor slot for 386SX PC emu¬ 
lation, or other coprocessor 

Super VGA graphics: 640x480 with 256 colors 
True color 16 bit mode allowing a display of up 
to 65,536 colors 

Accepts external video sync signal to allow high 
quality genlocking 

Overlay mode for easy video titling and special 

Overscan on TV’s" and ST Color monitors 
262,144 possible colors 
Hardware-assisted horizontal fine scrolling 
BLiTTER graphics co-processor 

Page 8 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

Sound Features: 

Eight 16 bit audio DMA record and playback 

Stereo 16 bit digital DMA input 
Stereo 16 bit DMA audio output 
SDMA sound/DMA Coprocessor 
Standard Ports: 

SCSI II port with DMA 
High speed LocalTalk compatible LAN 
Connector for analog RGB color (ST or VGA) or 
composite video 
RS232C serial port 
Bidirectional parallel port 

Stereo microphone input, miniature stereo plug 
Stereo audio out, miniature stereo plug 
Two joystick connectors 

Two enhanced digital/analog controller/light pen 
Data Storage: 

1.44 Mbyte floppy disk drive 
Optional internal IDE Hard Disk 
System Software: 

Pre-emptive Multitasking with adaptive prioritza* 
tion (MultiTOS) 

Inter process communication 
NewDesk desktop and extensible control panel 
Multiple window user interface; number of win¬ 
dows limited only by memory or software in 

We see this computer as exceeding all of the mul¬ 
timedia expectations of the computer buying public. 
As well as being an exceptional value as a home com¬ 
puter system. 

Extensive testing with the Falcon has already been 
done on existing software. We are very pleased with 
the high degree of compatibility. For instance, Power- 
Net, a increasingly popular LocalTalk networking solu¬ 
tion works fine with no modifications. Calamus SL, 
PageStream, WordFIair II, Cubase 3.0, STalker 3.0, 
STeno, Arabesque, and many other well-written appli¬ 
cations will work perfectly. 

That concludes our remarks, I hope you were all 
impressed with how fast 1 can type! I’ll be happy to 
take questions Jeff! 

JEFF.W Do you have a price ready to announce for the 

STRAMIEL No we will announce the price at the Dues- 
seldorf Atari Messe, Jeff. 

DRAGONWARE Sam, Thank you for the plug. What 
kind of numbers will be available in the US. and how 

STRAMIEL We are once again going to the FCC and I 
realistically expect shipments into the US. in mid Oc¬ 

K.LONERGAN Are MIDI ports included? 

STRAMIEL YES, MIDI ports are included with the 
Falcon. We fully support the MIDI standard. 

J.ALLEN27 Hi, Sam, thanks for visiting GEnie again. 
Three questions: Is the Falcon going to stay black? 
How are you going to market iL what venues, etc? And 
is MultiTOS going to be 68040 compatible when re¬ 

STRAMIEL Colors and marketing plans will be talked 
about at Duesseldorf and after that show, Jim. 1 have 
to save something for next week. And MultiTOS will 
be 68040 compatible! But sorry, we’re not comment¬ 
ing about 68040 machines. 

S.CORLEY1 Sam, about the graphics capacity of the 
Falcon. Why doesn’t it have 800x600 or, better yet, 
1024x768 graphics, as that is the VGA standard now. 
Also, has the BLiTTER chip been sped up to handle 
the extra graphics bandwidth. 

STRAMIEL Hi Scott. The BLiTTER chip has been 
sped up to handle the extra bandwidth. The BLiTTER 
is now running at 16Mhz. VGA normally doesn’t have 
and this machine is aimed at having great color, great 
sound, and with the DSP chip, some wonderful new 

B.KING8 1) Are you going to advertise, and if so, how? 
2) What is the deal with the GE Service contract? 3) 
Can we expect Desktop (ie. Detachable keyboards) 
models and Tower versions? 

STRAMIEL As 1 said before, all marketing announce¬ 
ments will be made at Duesseldorf. I will not com¬ 
ment on future models of the Falcon. We are talking 
today about a machine that will be shipping next 
week. We don’t want to make future announcements 
and get into trouble with Vaporware. And by the way, 
for higher rez requirements, buy TTs!:) 

R.PECORA Has the recent Forbes article influenced 
Atari’s future marketing plans? 

STRAMIEL My new office, which has a better view 
than my old one, is so far quite satisfactory. And 
Richard Miller is in my old office. The Forbes article 
was a mish-mash and misconstrued article full of half 
truths. We are anxiously awaiting the release of the 
Atari Falcon to bring us back to the forefront. The ar¬ 
ticle has given us some laughs, but otherwise has not 
affected us. 

OAWALKER Evening Sam. PLEASE SHOW falcon at 
Glendale for all the So Cal Boys. 

STRAMIEL We will try our best to show it. There will 
be a number of fine developers there, like Lexicor 
Software showing Atari Falcon applications. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 9 

S.JAC0BS6 Would you please name some of Falcon’s 

STRAMIEL The Atari Falcon was totally designed in 
house at Atari, and it is not our practice to give out in¬ 
dividuals names. So many people are, and were, in¬ 
volved in the project. They all worked very hard to 
bring this to a reality! 

JM.HAWTHORNE Is the expansion bus VME? 
STRAMIEL No, it is not a VME bus. It is a direct proc¬ 
essor slot that gives developers more flexibility. 

M.RHODES8 How do you think the Falcon will com¬ 
pare with the industry dominating IBM platform? 
STRAMIEL There is no comparison! The Atari Falcon 
is far superior to the PC platform. Our challenge is to 
get a lot of software for the platform, and a lot of peo¬ 
ple to buy it. 

G.STOLLMAN Sam, you mentioned IBM emulation. 
How close to true IBM 386 speed and power will this 
actually be? By this I mean, like a 386 33 SX? Will 
this require an add-on unit for more speed?? 
STRAMIEL Hi Gary. Bill Rehbock assures me that a 
PC Board will be shown at Duesseldorf. We will give 
you specs after the show. 

JEFF.W Any comments about performance? 

STRAMIEL Not until after the show, Jeff. Sorry. It’s not 
our product. 

RLORIMER Will the Falcon be sold will MultiTOS, 
and will multiTOS be in the ROM’s? From what I’ve 
heard it takes up close to a MEG if in RAM. 
STRAMIEL Yes, the Atari Falcon will be sold with 
MultiTOS. It will be a combination of ROM and disk 

S.AGARWAL Sam, Why no DMA (ACSI) port? How 
shall I connect my SLM 804 to the falcon? 

STRAMIEL We felt that the DMA port was not enough 
of a standard port That’s why we went to SCSI II. 
There are several third party companies that are work¬ 
ing on a converter box to allow you to connect up 
your SLM to the Atari Falcon 030. The SCSI is much 
faster than DMA, too. 

NEVIN-S Thanks for coming tonight, Sam. As a de¬ 
veloper who depends on sales of Atari software for a 
good portion of my living, I am excited about the new 
Falcon. On the other hand, I see more and more peo¬ 
ple being fired from Atari, entire divisions being 
closed down, etc. Atari seems to be very good at cut¬ 
ting costs, but is this really the time to cut costs? I am 
concerned that once again Atari will have a great ma¬ 
chine technically, but that the corporation behind it 
won’t be strong enough to make the Falcon fly. 

STRAMIEL We are “right sizing” our company to re¬ 
flect our current rate of sales. We must conserve assets 
for future growth with products like Atari Falcon. Ex¬ 
ample, with the new North America free trade agree¬ 
ment, we felt that we could handle Canadian sales lo- 
gistically from Sunnyvale and have sales people in 
Canada and the US handling both countries in a 
north/south direction. We will support the Atari Fal¬ 
con throughout the world. And need developers like 
you to support it as well. 

C.ROSE4 I’ve been using 1040 ST because of it’s MI¬ 
DI capabilities. I also use C-lab’s Notator. I wanted to 
buy a TT, but Notator won’t run on it. Will the Falcon 
support this product? 

STRAMIEL The new version of Notator will run fine 
on a Falcon, just as the new version will run on the 

E.MONACO Is 16Mhz viable running multiple applica¬ 
tions? What can we expect? 

STRAMIEL We’ve found it to work just fine. The 
68030 is well suited for multi-tasking. 

B.SALDANA1 The Falcon inspired me to design an at¬ 
tractive monitor stand for it called the STATION. Has 
it been inspiring new or old software developers? H’ll 
send you one Sam. 

STRAMIEL At a recent Atari Falcon developer confer¬ 
ence, (organized by the capable Bill Rehbock) in the 
UK, 1 was very happy to learn about new developers 
and some exciting software that is already being devel¬ 
oped. The machines spec are so novel, that developers 
really have to figure out all the new, wonderful things 
that they can do with it I’m sure that we’ll see great 
software within the next 6 months. Thanks for the of¬ 
fer of the monitor stand. I’ll look forward to it!!! 

J.TORRES17 Sir, is the Falcon fully 1040STe compat¬ 
ible (graphics, 8Mhz, TOS, etc) or more like the TT? 
STRAMIEL The Atari Falcon is VERY STE compat¬ 
ible. Much more so that the TT030 is. We really try to 
make our products as compatible as possible. 

SAM-RAPP Does this “Official Announcement” 
mean that all these “Gagged” developers can start 
talking nitty gritty with us info-starved masses? At 
least some info? 

STRAMIEL No more on our product, but they will be 
welcome to discuss the applications that they are devel¬ 
oping that will be Falcon specific. 

WORDFLAIR Sam, we are excited about the Falcon. 
We will be launching several new products that take 
full advantage of its power later this fall. The products 
are being developed by us and by Digital Arts, GmbH, 
the former development team for 3K Computerbild. 

Page 10 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

STRAMIEL Lauren, it’s always a pleasure to have you 
as part of the Atari team. Thank you for your sup¬ 

AD-VANTAGE The Falcon sounds wonderful Sam! 
Could you discuss in general terms some of the new 
software in development for the Falcon and what do 
you think the most significant impact of the DSP 
hardware will be on such new applications? 

STRAMIEL I cannot give exact details tonight, but 1 
think that the DSP hardware will open up a whole new 
realm of communications type software. I’m pushing 
very hard for voice mail type applications for the 

M.HILL13 You mentioned the SCSI 2 port is DMA 
driven and the DSR too, I believe, but is the Localtalk 
port DMA driven like on the TT or is it like the Mega 
STe Localtalk port? I hope it is DMA driven. 

STRAMIEL It is not DMA driven, sorry Mike. We 
think that it is satisfactory at this level. 

ABC.SOLN Can you comment on the future of exist¬ 
ing machines, especially the TT030. (There have been 
reports that it is out of production.) For instance, will 
upgrades to muItiTOS be available? Will trade-up deals 
be offered? 

STRAMIEL The TT030 is still in production, and we 
do have plans to release Atari MuItiTOS for the 
TT030. It is not a practice for us to offer trade-up 
deals. That is something that is for the discretion of 
the dealers. 

M.RIVMAN1 MR.T. (Sam), welcome! As good as the 
new machine looks on paper, we have all been hard hit 
by lack of support by dealers/developers. PLEASE, 
sell me on staying with the ATARI platform when all 
my friends scream MAC for MIDI DTI* graphics!!! 
STRAMIEL We have been reluctant to attack the US 
market with the old machines. We feel that the Atari 
Falcon is truly a giant step forward and we hope that 
this will turn on users in the US. This will help get 
our marketplace going. We are signing up new dealers, 
and as more software becomes available, you will be 
seeing us advertise in the US. But as I said earlier, I 
will not go into details at presenL 

W.RENKEL When will they arrive in the US, and 
where do they fit into the current product line?? 
STRAMIEL They will be available in mid-October, and 
they fit very well into our product line! 

CONNOR Good evening Sam. I assume that the re¬ 
lease date for the Falcon will be the same in Canada as 
in the United States, is this correct? 

STRAMIEL If anything, it might be earlier in Canada. 
That’s because I’m a Canadian, eh. 

C.FLUEGEL Will it be possible to record/playback on 
just a single of the sound channels, or will they only 
work in pairs?? 

STRAMIEL According to Bill Rehbock my trusty tech¬ 
nical assistant, yes, you can record on a single channel. 

T.MCCOMB Will MuItiTOS be available for the rest of 
the ST line? If so, what kind of time frame for avail¬ 
ability? -Tom. Please tell me there will be a MAJOR 
marketing effort in the USA otherwise only us 
Chickens will know about the Falcon. 

STRAMIEL MuItiTOS will be available for TT030 and 
for future 68030 and above machines. We already an¬ 
swered the other marketing questions. 

S.JOHNSON10 You said the Falcon 030 (is it actually 
going to be called that, by the way?) has a 16-bit 
65,536 color mode. Will that work at 640x480 or is 
that mode limited to lower resolutions and, if so, 
which one(s)? 

STRAMIEL Steve, the machine is called the Atari Fal¬ 
con 030. The t6-bit true color mode will work in 
640x480 interlaced on a TV or ST-style monitor. True 
Color will also work in 320x480 on VGA monitors. 

HAINES For ram expansion up to the max of 14 meg, 
is the ram standard simms or proprietary type pack¬ 
ages? If not, is this the type of thing good chip mer¬ 
chants will have readily in stock. 

STRAMIEL It is a custom board, but not proprietary. 
We will have it readily in stock, and we are a great 
chip merchant! 

R.MARTIN22 Thanks for being here tonight. I’m 
thinking of becoming an Atari dealer. What support 
can I expect from Sunnyvale? Are the analog ports 
you mentioned the same as those on the STe? 
STRAMIEL Please contact new US sales director Art 
Pruzynski regarding your dealer interest. We will sup¬ 
port you fully. Yes, the analog ports are the same as on 
the Atari 1040 STe. 

C.CASSADAY From your answer about MuItiTOS and 
the ST, it seems as if 68000-based machines may not 
be in Atari’s production future. Also, when, and in 
what form can we expect MuItiTOS for the TT030. 
STRAMIEL Hi Chris, the future of the 68000 ma¬ 
chines all depends on [what] the market wants, ie, what 
sells. MuItiTOS will be available from Atari for the 
Atari TT030 as an upgrade. We’ll supply details on 
when later on, after Duesseldorf. From what I have 
seen, MuItiTOS is fantastic, and is just as much a ma¬ 
jor advance as the hardware for the Atari Falcon. No 
Guru meditation errors, and some really great graphic 
features, and wonderful technical features. 

(Continued on page 14.) 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 11 

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S.C0RLEY1 Sam, why did Atari choose to use the 
fixed point 56001 DSP instead of the newer, more 
powerful 96002 DSP which has floating point? Alsa 
could you give more detail about Falcon graphics ca¬ 
pacities, i.e resolutions, tt of colors, scan rates, inter¬ 
lacing , etc. 

STRAMIEL Scott, the primary reasons were price ... 
the 96002 is much more expensive. The newer chip 
doesn’t have the software tools available to take advan¬ 
tage of it yet. We’ll post more graphic details grin in 
the bulletin board after Duessledorf. 

C.OATES2 The Advantage article mentioned 16 bit in 
only 320x200. Any other inaccuracies we should know 
of in their specs? 

STRAMIEL We have released the specifications of the 
Atari Falcon tonight. You are getting all of the infor¬ 
mation straight from the horse’s mouth. We’d rather 
not comment about the Advantage article. 

M.ALLEN14 Does your comment about the FCC indi¬ 
cate that the Falcon is NOT Class B yet? If this is so, 
how can you have significant quantities in the US by 

STRAMIEL We have not yet even given the machine to 
the FCC. And we are only applying for Class B ap¬ 
proval. According to our “experts,” it should pass 
Class B. We will not have significant quantities of 
Atari Falcon until later in the year. October will be 
just the beginning. 

R.ALBR1GHT7 Have any As-of-Yet Non-Atari Vendors 
expressed intentions to produce applications taking ad¬ 
vantage of the tremendous new capabilities of the Fal¬ 
con? Software from a well known vendor could do 
wonders for enticing users of other platforms. 
STRAMIEL Yes, there are some 30 new developers that 
are producing software for the Atari Falcon. Several of 
the developers are also NeXT developers, for example. 

R.PAINTERS Will it be possible to upgrade to a 040, 
or should I hold out for the better machine? (I can’t af¬ 
ford both). 

STRAMIEL The Atari Falcon 030 cannot be upgraded 
to an 68040, as far as the design goes. I’m sure that 
you’ll find the Atari Falcon 030 very cost effective. 
Buy one! 

JM.HAWTHORNE How fast will the serial ports be, 
and how many? 

STRAMIEL The serial port (there is one) is driven by 
the see chip. It is capable of full local talk speed, 
250K baud. Also, we feel that the DSP port will have 
great telecommunications applications with very high 
speed things, like ISDN. 

R.PECORA Is a Mega-type version Falcon a possibil¬ 
ity in the near future? Many of us prefer the external 
keyboard arrangement. 

STRAMIEL Sorry, as I indicated before, no comment 
about future machines. Thanks for your input on the 
external keyboard. 

M.RHODES8 Do you think the “major” retailers (ala 
CompUSA, Computerland) will carry the Falcon? Be¬ 
ing here in San Francisco, I only have 2 or 3 places I 
can go for Atari equipment and I would love to see the 
Falcon supported in these outlets. 

STRAMIEL We sure hope that some “major retailers” 
will pick up the Atari line. A good friend, that you all 
know, named Greg Pratt, now runs Intelligent Elec¬ 
tronics. Why don’t you write him, and push him to 
sell Atari products? 

JEFF.W To everyone who we didn’t get to, my apolo¬ 
gies. But we —have— run through an incredible 
number of questions and answers during this time. 
Thank you all for attending and participating. 

Sam, many thanks to you and the Atari crew for 
being here and filling us all in about the Falcon. Many 
best wishes for its success. Do you have any closing 
statements you’d like to make before we adjourn? 

STRAMIEL Yes, Jeff. Thanks for joining us here 
tonight. And we appreciate your support of Atari. I’ve 
just returned from Asia, where I saw the first Atari 
Falcon production coming off the lines. Let’s hope 
this new offering will make it in North America. I 
know that the specs are great. We should have a good 
chance, with all of your support. Good night, thank 
you again for attending tonight! 

JEFF.W Thanks again to Sam and all who turned out 

(C) 1992 by Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari 
Roundtables. May be rqjrinted only with this notice 
intact. The Atari Roundtables on GEnie are *official* 
information services of Atari Corporation. 

To sign up for GEnie service, call (with mo¬ 
dem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RE¬ 
TURN after that). Wait for the UO= prompL Type 
XJM11877,GEnie and hit RETURN. The system will 
prompt you for your information. 

[By the time you read this. Atari will have shown the 
Falcon in Germany. But that event, unfortunately, will 
have occurred after our publication deadline. However, 
CN does have a correspondent in Europe and we will 
bring you complete coverage of the Falcon rollout next 
month. -JW] 

Page 14 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 


The Atari ST Emulator for MS-DOS and Windows 

A Preview by Milt Creighton 

A Beta Test Preview 

Several months ago, when I first saw the advertise¬ 
ment for Gemulator that Darek Mihocka’s Branch Al¬ 
ways Software placed in an Atari magazine, 1 was in¬ 
trigued. The prospect of running Atari software on 
my PC interested me because it suggested an economi¬ 
cal way to keep a foot in two worlds. At one time I 
owned five Atari ST computers ranging from a 520ST 
to a Mega ST4. Now, I am down to two and the temp¬ 
tation to reclaim some of the desk space the remain¬ 
ing STs occupy occasionally surfaces. 

For review purposes, Darek shipped a pre-release 
version of the board and the third beta test version of 
the software. Normally Current Notes only reviews re¬ 
lease versions of hardware and software products. The 
reasons for this policy are obvious. It is not the re¬ 
viewer’s role to become a beta tester for a developer, 
however important the product. In this case, the ST 
editor of Current Notes decided to make an exception 
because there has been a dearth of new products for 
the ST and Gemulator is one of the more interesting 
products under development. 

One reason Gemulator is important is because it 
is bound to be viewed by some as an ST-killer. Atari 
ST hardware sales are marginal and declining at best. 
The introduction of Gemulator won’t, in my opinion, 
encourage any reversal of that trend. On the other 
hand, some will argue that Gemulator could serve to 
broaden the ST user base or at least slow its steady ero¬ 
sion so that software developers continue to produce 
new and/or converted products for the ST. Conceiv¬ 
ably, superior ST products like Calamus and 
PageStream could even draw new users to ST soft¬ 
ware. But these possibilities exist only if Gemulator 
successfully emulates the ST in speed, power, and 

Defining the Gemulator 

For purposes of this preview, 1 will reiterate the 
claims that Branch Always Software advertisements 
make about Gemulator and then relate my own expe¬ 
riences while investigating those claims. My advice is 
to pay close attention to the qualifying statements in 
the ensuing discussion if you are interested in buying 
this product. 

Let’s begin by defining what Gemulator is and de¬ 
scribing the type of platform you should own if you 
plan to install and run this ST emulator. First, Gemu¬ 
lator emulates a 2MB Atari ST. Gemulator consists of 

three items: a small, 8-bit PC' board that fits in an ex¬ 
pansion slot in your PC-compatible computer, one or 
more sets of original TOS ROMs, and the activating 
Gemulator software. If your MS-DOS computer does-' 
n’t have expansion slots (such as is the case in most 
MS-DOS laptops and notebooks computers), you can’t 
use Gemulator. Darek also states that you must have at 
least a 386-based PC for Gemulator. 80286-based ma¬ 
chines and below do not have the power, or the ex¬ 
tended memory, to run the emulator. To his minimum 
requirements, I would recommend using at least a 
80386DX-based machine with cache memory. 

Gemulator runs under both MS-DOS and Win¬ 
dows environments and features mouse and both 
floppy and hard disk support. The release version will 
allegedly also include modem support. Gemulator sup¬ 
ports all versions of TOS and emulates all three ST 
screen resolutions (including the STe’s 4,096 color 
palette). Gemulator does not support Atari sound (in¬ 
cluding MIDI) or joysticks. 

Installation Is Simple 

Gemulator is very easy to install. Simply plug 
your TOS ROMs into the sockets provided on the card, 
plug the card into an empty expansion slot and install 
the software. That’s it I installed Gemulator in about 
10 minutes and the most difficult part was getting the 
cover back on my tower-style case. 

My test system was a 486DX50 with a 265K 
SRAM cache, 16MB of system RAM, a 17” SVGA 
monitor driven by a Diamond Stealth VRAM card 
with 1MB onboard, high density floppies of both 
types, a 330MB Maxtor hard drive, and a 88MB Sy- 
DOS removable hard disk. 

As previously sjated, the version of Gemulator I 
received was a pre-release version. While it would 
read files from my hard and floppy disk drives, the 
write capability was disabled—ostensibly to prevent 
problems during the development process. This “fea¬ 
ture” made review difficult and, consequently, 1 can¬ 
not categorically state that Gemulator is capable of 
writing to floppy or hard disk drives at all (not that I 
doubt it will). 

So, Does It Work? 

Otherwise, Gemulator works pretty much as ad¬ 
vertised. 1 was able to run it under both DOS and 
Windows 3.1 environments (more about that later) and 
I successfully tried all Atari ST screen resolutions. I 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 15 

ran WordPerfect 4.1 for the Atari, PageStream, and 
Calamus, in addition to a number of utility programs 
such as TurboST Gemulator choked on the mouse ac¬ 
celerator from Atari, Superboot (since writing to the 
disk was disabled), a number of shareware programs 
and all of the games 1 tried. Also, 1 was never able to 
print from PageStream or Calamus. The problem was 
probably not due to Gemulator, however, since 1 was 
able to print successfully from the desktop. My PC is 
connected to a Canon LPB4 laser printer and 1 suspect 
the application printer drivers, and not Gemulator, 
were at fault. 

How Fast Is It? 

1 ran Quick Index version 1.8 in the MS-DOS en¬ 
vironment to provide benchmarks for performance 
comparison. 1 was unable to run Quick Index under 
Windows for reasons 1 will describe later, but results 
would not have been as good. All runs were made with 
TurboST installed in order to achieve faster scores. 
Here are the results: 

Gemulator (TOS 206) 

Mega ST4 

1040 ST 

Intel 486 @ 

TOS 1.4 

IDS 1.4 

25 MHz 

50 MHz 

16 MHz 

8 MHz 

CPU Memory; 





CPU Register; 





CPU Divide; 





CPU Shifts; 





DMA 64K Read: 





GEMDOS Files; 





TOS Text: 





TOS String; 





IDS Scroll; 





GEM Dialog; 





From averaging the above figures you can see that 
Gemulator on a 486 running at 50MHz runs about 
one and a half times faster than a stock 1040ST (with 
TurboST installed) and at about 2/3 the speed of an ST 
equipped with a 16MHz accelerator board Purists will 
claim that some of the above measurements are more 
important than others and they would be right for spe¬ 
cific applications, but for many uses simple averaging 
should yield ballpark results. 

Other Considerations 

OK, 1 have stated that Gemulator works, quoted 
speed benchmarks, and listed some specific applica¬ 
tions that perform properly, but that still dodges the 
question of how well Gemulator works and ignores 
some of the hidden costs. 

To begin with, Gemulator is a memory hog. Un¬ 
der DOS it currently requires 7 MB of system RAM! 
The emulator itself occupies 3 MB of RAM (although 
that will probably shrink as the code is optimized). 
Another 2 MB of RAM is consumed by the DOS ex¬ 

tender and the final 2 MB is required for the 2 MB ST 
being emulated Add that up and the total is 7 MB for 
the latest beta version. 1 doubt the total RAM require¬ 
ment will shrink significantly since new features con¬ 
tinue to be added. The implications are that Gemulator 
will run in DOS only if you have 8MB or more of sys¬ 
tem RAM since most PC architectures don’t normally 
add up to 7MB. 

Under Windows, Gemulator requires 9 MB of 
RAM, but much of that can be virtual memory rather 
than system RAM. Windows uses a swapfile to in¬ 
crease available RAM for Windows applications by 
reading and writing blocks of memory from and to 
the hard disk. A 4 MB system with a 6-10 MB perma¬ 
nent swap file on your hard disk should be able to run 
Gemulator. There are costs, however; swapfiles are no¬ 
where near as fast as system RAM and Windows itself 
is pretty heavy overhead for an emulator to have to 
drag around. The combination will slow Gemulator 

The sohware that comes with the package is really 
the heart and soul of Gemulator. The small plug-in 
board is only there to hold the TOS ROMs and provide 
the necessary hardware for communication with the 
PC. The software takes up about 4.35 MB of disk 
space on your hard disk and loading and running a 
program that big takes a substantial amount of time, 
even on a fast PC. 

Once you are into the program, Gemulator reports 
the number of floppy drives detected, states whether 
the parallel printer is on-line, and then describes the 
size of the hard disk. Hard disk support is included in 
the third beta test version of the software, but this is 
one area where the buyer had better beware. More 
about that later. 

Gemulator displays a “?” prompt on the welcome 
screen. This is an indication for the user to select the 
options Gemulator provides. These options include se¬ 
lection of the number of floppy disk drives (up to two) 
and whether to boot up in monochrome or color. 
Gemulator supports both 5.25” and 3.5” high density 
floppy disk drives, and defaults to a one-drive system. 
Another selection allows the user to switch the order 
of the floppy drive, i.e., the “A” and “B” drive desig¬ 
nators may be switched if desired. 

Since it is possible to install multiple TOS ROM 
chips on the board, Gemulator also lists the TOS ROM 
sets available and requests the user to select one (if 
you have more than one). The review item I used occa¬ 
sionally identified an additional TOS ROM set not in¬ 
stalled on the board. The program, of course, crashed 
when this “phantom” TOS ROM set was selected. 

Entering an “1” causes the TOS ROMs to be in¬ 
stalled and you will soon find yourself in the ST GEM 
environment If you are using TOS 2.06, do not be dis¬ 
mayed by the error report on the opening screen; ig¬ 
nore it and proceed. 

Page 16 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

Hard Disk Support 

One of the two biggest problems I had with Gem- 
ulator was in the area of hard disk support. To begin 
with, you will need to run an Atari hard disk device 
driver (not provided) in order to have GEM recognize 
your hard disk. Other than ICD, which has built-in 
copy protection, there are no Atari device drivers of 
which I am aware that will drive hard disk partitions 
larger than 32 MB. In the MS-DOS world, 32 MB can 
be a rather small partition. I have several partitions 
larger then 100 MB, for example, and one of them is 
doubled through a disk compression program to more 
than 200 MB. My smallest partition is 43 MB in size. 

The implication of this limitation is that you may 
have to repartition your hard disk if you want to use 
Gemulator. In case you are wondering, that also means 
that everything you have on your hard disk will be 
erased. Since 1 wasn’t about to reformat my hard disk 
for purposes of this review, I had to resort to trickery. 

I reformatted my SyDOS drive with the first parti¬ 
tion set at 30 MB and (after copying the requisite files 
to that partition) went into my bios setup and unin¬ 
stalled my hard disk. Rebooting the PC made the first 
SyDOS partition my C drive. At present, Gemulator 
only supports one hard disk (or one partition), but 
Darek promises that while the release version will sup¬ 
port only a single drive C (or partition), future releases 
will support up to 4 partitions or additional drives. 

After running the Gemulator software and activat¬ 
ing the GEM desktop, I ran my Supra hard disk driver 
from a floppy and installed the hard disk icon. Every¬ 
thing worked pretty much as advertised until I tried to 
run a program from the installed hard disk. Gemula¬ 
tor apparently failed to respect the partition I had in¬ 
stall^ and responded with an error code when I tried 
to access the disk beyond obtaining a directory listing. 
Any attempt to access software (including getting a di¬ 
rectory listing inside a folder) crashed the system. I 
have made repeated attempts to get Gemulator to re¬ 
spect the partition size and have yet to meet with any 
success. The problem is probably with the SyDOS de¬ 
vice driver and Gemulator may have no problem with 
your fixed hard disk drive, but check out hard disk 
support within the warranty period. The problem here 
is the PC world is so vast that it contains all sorts of 
incompatibilities. To expect an emulator that patches 
into a totally alien environment to be compatible with 
every item in the PC world just isn’t realistic. 

In the Windows environment there are also big 
problems. I was able to successfully run a previous ver¬ 
sion of the Gemulator software from within Windows, 
but the third beta version repeatedly hung up while 
running the DOS extender. I tried at least a dozen dif¬ 
ferent versions of configuration (.PIF) files to see if 
the problem was with Windows, but every attempt 
hung up at the same point. Where the problem lies is 

beyond me, although 1 still suspect Windows or the 
DOS extender to be the culprit. I tried using only 
HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE and still had no luck. 
Since Gemulator loads and runs under DOS on my 
machine, I suspect the problem is not in Gemulator, 
but that still doesn’t help matters. The current Gemu¬ 
lator software just flat would not run on my machine 
under Windows 3.1. Darek has been made aware of 
the problem and he is working on it 

Branch Always Software will not market Gemula¬ 
tor themselves; that will be done through PMC, a divi¬ 
sion of Public Domain Corporation. Look for their ad¬ 
vertisements in this and other Atari magazines. Origi¬ 
nal TOS ROMS of various revisions will be available 
through PMC as well. 

The Bottom Line 

Should you buy Gemulatofi In its present crippled 
beta test form, the obvious and immediate answer is 
no. But Darek promises the release version will be 
fully functional and he was offering a 33% discount 
for those who ordered through the end of August. I 
have bought plenty of emulators for the ST including 
PC Ditto 1 and II, Supercharger, and PC-Speed With 
the possible exception of PC-Speed which worked as 
advertised, I was disappointed with every one of them. 
Gemulator offers more promise and, with the proper 
platform, more capability than any of them. 

But even a promising design still begs the ques¬ 
tion. After all, I have a better ST emulator sitting right 
behind me in the form of my Mega ST4. For those ap¬ 
plications that require GEM DOS 1 can use that ma¬ 
chine and suffer none of the compatibility problems 
inherent in any emulator. Also, the moribund Atari 
software market is unlikely, in my opinion, to entice 
dedicated PC owners to buy and use Gemulator, even 
given the sophistication and power of programs like 
Calamus and PageStream. Finally, the beta test version 
I previewed has some major problems that will need to 
be fixed before release. While I probably would not 
buy Gemulator if I had to pay $250 to $350 for it, 1 
will keep (and use) the preview copy Darek sent me 
(with his permission, of course). I do not say this be¬ 
cause 1 feel the release version of Gemulator will be 
inferior in any way, but rather because it does not suit 
my needs any better than the solution I already own. 

Those of you who read this may have different 
needs and, perhaps, Gemulator will present a handy 
solution for some of you. If you need an ST emulator 
for your PC, then Gemulator is in a unique position to 
satisfy that need and if the introductory price of $199 
($299 after August) seems inexpensive, just remember 
that you will have to come up with original TOS 
ROMs for the Gemulator board as well. That same 
amount of money could buy you a new (or used) ST 
system with fewer compatibility problems even if it 
does clutter your desk. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 17 


V by J. Andrzej Wrotniak J 

Why We Need Europe 

0tto’i f 4li^hSpeed l^aic&l^ 

and -(iptll in ]^ati 5 

ORCS—Again, the Best Things Come Free 

For a long time I kept complaining about a miss¬ 
ing development tool on the Atari ST market—a re¬ 
source construction program (RCS) for GEM. For 
those who may not be familiar with the name, a re¬ 
minder. A resource (.RSC) file contains a description 
of all screen objects a program uses for user interac¬ 
tion: menus, dialog boxes and such. All this can be 
hard-coded into the program, but it is much easier to 
use an RCS to design all those widgets interactively on 
screen (and, besides, a resource file can be mechani¬ 
cally translated into a corresponding program code). 

The original RCS from Digital Research, the au¬ 
thors of GEM, has been initially distributed only with 
the Atari Developer’s Kit—for a rather steep price—if 
you did not want all the other stuff. It wasn’t so bad, 
especially in Version 2, RCS2, which has been around 
for five years or so. It has some bugs, sloooow saving 
process and some painful limitations. On the other 
hand, its user interface is simple and intuitive, and, af¬ 
ter all, it is doing its job (almost) all right. 

Those who wouldn’t buy the Developer’s Kit had a 
choice between pirating a copy (now you can buy the 

RCS2 alone directly from Atari) and buying a third- 
party product. WERCS and Kuma Resource were the 
best known of these, distributed as stand-alone prod¬ 
ucts or packaged with some compilers. 

Having some complaints about RCS2, 1 have tried 
both Kuma Resource and WERCS. Both programs had 
some features absent in RCS2, but, alas, both were far 
from what I was hoping for: quite unreliable (read: 
crashing), sometimes inconvenient to use, with some 
irritating limitations and quirks. Not a polished, pro¬ 
fessional work I would expect from a development 

So each time it was back to the old, cursed RCS2, 
and it carried me through all these years. 

Until recently. Last May, I found a shareware pro¬ 
gram from Germany. Called ORCS, or Otto’s Re¬ 
source Construction Set, it was written by Mr. Thorn- 
sten Otto from Essen (formerly behind the Iron Cur¬ 
tain). After trying it out, I am not using anything else. 

The program comes with two very short text files 
in German, but the user interface is in English (with a 
mild peculiarity here and there, but better than some 
US programs I have seen). Even without any documen- 

ions Global 




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Echo 1 

Text 1; 

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Save ; 


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Page 18 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

ORCS Fil« Opti 

eiobal Special 

10:55:27 pfi 


Crossed I 


Checked 1 















Outsida 1 ti Black Hl^ J J 1 Ina f U Hhit# I 

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tation, if you know what an RCS does, you will have 
no problems using ORCS, at least for the jobs of which 
the Atari’s RCS2 was capable. 

This last clause is quite important, because fea¬ 
ture-wise this program beats all others combined. 

One group of improvements relates to the output, 
i.e. the resource file produced by the program. First of 
all, you have full control over the usually null parts of 
some data items (describing buttons, editable fields 
etc.). These parts are ignored by GEM, but your pro¬ 
gram may use them, creating lots of possibilities. 
Also, the choice of files produced by ORCS in addition 
to the normal .RSC file is wider: not just include files 
(for C, Pascal, Modula-2, assembler, FORTRAN and 
BASIC), but also complete source files in C and as¬ 
sembler. And yes, ORCS output is compatible—in both 
directions—with the other RCS programs(which, by 
the way, are not always compatible between them¬ 

The second group makes the process of using 
ORCS much easier, faster and more convenient. Ob¬ 
jects can be moved and resized either with mouse or 
by typing in the co-ordinates; they can also be easily 
moved or copied between windows containing differ¬ 
ent object trees (not necessarily from the same re¬ 
source file). 

There is even a “find by name” option, taking you 
directly to the desired object, and a plethora of small 
but useful touches, making the process of building a 
resource much less of a pain. Mr. Otto has included 
virtually everything I could think of, and a kitchen 

Last but not least, the program seems to work 
flawlessly. 1 have experienced no problems with seri¬ 
ous modifications to my huge resource files for the 
newest El—Cal and Star Base, and this was a good 

The only problem I found in ORCS is the maxi¬ 
mum string length of 64 characters in objects. RCS2 
allows for more than 70, and one of the objects in 

El-Cal is 72 characters long. Well, at 
least ORCS does not trash the excess 
characters (one of the other programs 
does), and 64 is enough for practically all 

My second complaint is even more 
insignificant the Tempus-like desktop 
with drive icons isn’t very useful, usually 
obscured by program windows; just a 
gimmick. Luckily, you can perform all 
file operations from the regular File 
menu, leaving the desktop alone. 

If you were looking for a resource 
construction program, look no further. 
Otto’s RCS is a clear winner in terms of 
both what it does and how. More, trying 
it out costs you nothing; the thing is 
shareware (1 found it on GEnie and Joe is adding it to 
the CN library this month as disk «730). But if you 
use it in your programming (and 1 know you will), get 
an international money order for SO Deutsche Mark in 
your local bank or post office and send it to the pro¬ 
gram author (his address is in the German text file). 
Please do it: Mr. Otto did an excellent job and his work 
should save lots of your time (and irritation). My check 
is going out with a copy of this review. 

Highspeed Pascal, Orphaned But Improved 

Last May 1 reviewed the Highspeed Pascal here; a 
quite good implementation of this popular language, 
with powerful Turbo-like extensions, but also with a 
few drawbacks limiting its usefulness in writing large 

Some things have changed since then. The bad 
news is that HSP is no longer distributed in the States 
by GoldLeaf. Well, it looks like the programmer’s 
market on the ST is quite small and a “regular” soft¬ 
ware distribution company cannot afford catering to it 
The good news is that the compiler has been up¬ 
graded to Version 1.5, addressing most of my com¬ 
plaints. 1 have had an interesting e-mail exchange on 
this subject with one of our Readers, Mr. Mark 
O’Bryan from Paradigm Software Products. Mr. 
O’Bryan has ordered the upgrade directly from HiSoft 
in England (10 British pounds) and is quite happy with 
the improvements. Most importantly, the 32k limit for 
array size has been lifted, and the Turbo compatibility 
has been improved by adding typed and structured 
constants, and by allowing the assignment of a data 
object to a given absolute address. The integrated pro¬ 
gramming environment has been cleaned up and a 
multitude of small bugs were fixed. For those who are 
interested, lots of information on HSP can be found on 
GEnie (Topic 3 of Category 3, Page 475). 

My own Version 1.5 from England is due shortly, 
so an update of the review can be expected in these 
pages within the next few months. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 19 

Prospero, Abandoning the US? 

Another British firm, Prospero Software, the mak¬ 
ers of C, Pascal and FORTRAN compilers, can no 
longer be reached in the States. A pity, because all 
three compilers, albeit quite slow, produce a fast-run¬ 
ning code, are well documented and clean (and I’ve 
used them all quite a lot!). 

I’ve heard that Pacific Software from California is 
still distributing Prospero products here. I wish I could 
verify this information. In the meantime, some deal¬ 
ers still have Prospero software in stock (L&Y, Toad 
and Joppa in this number). 

What, No Phone Support? 

Let us admit it: we are a bunch of spoiled brats 
here. A few years ago Word Perfect Corporation had a 
staff of more than 200 user-support representatives, 
sitting at their phones and answering moronic ques¬ 
tions from people who did not know how to use Aeir 
program. Well, the most popular word processor in 
the world is not an achievement of user-friendliness 
(or even of a logical and consistent design), but most 
of the questions could have been answered by looking 
into the program manual. 

We have grown to expect this effort from anyone 
selling us a piece of software. Certainly, it is nice to 
have it, but guess who is paying all those salaries? San¬ 
ta Claus? 

All this depends, of course, on the size of the mar¬ 
ket. Word Perfect sold, I presume, at least a million or 
two copies up to date, not counting constant upgrades. 
Maybe more. Most, if not all, of the questions con¬ 
cerning it are pretty standard and can be answered by 
a person after a short training. When we move into a 
less popular computer platform (as the ST versus PC) 
and into a more narrowly specialized application (as a 
compiler versus word processor), the market shrinks 
dramatically. On the other hand, the skills required of 
the person answering users’ questions will now be 
higher: the support representative has to be a smart 
programmer with a good knowledge of the inner 
workings of the particular product. 

Try to hire a person like that for less than $40,000 
a year. If you are very lucky, you may find someone 
for $35,000 (perhaps an immigrant). Divide this figure 
into the number of copies you will sell in the same 
time. A thousand copies? Fat luck! Nobody really 
knows how many STs we have in the US, but various 
estimates I’ve seen ranged from 50,000 to 250,000. 
Only a small fraction of the owners do any program¬ 
ming, and there are ten or so competing compilers 
(counting all languages) on the market OK, you’ve 
spent a lot on advertising, a thousand. This means that 
$35 from each copy price goes towards the phone sup¬ 
port! (You may argue with my figures, but add job 
benefits, overhead, office expenses etc., and this usu¬ 
ally doubles the estimate.) 

Well, some may say, on a small market there will 
not be many calls for support! So what, I will argue, 
the support guy (or gal) will just sit idle, but he has to 
be there whether you need him or not. Well, give him 
something else to do in the meantime. Again, this 
may work fine if he is a programmer working on the 
product: Charlie Johnson from the CodeHeads will 
take an occasional phone call, and be knows well how 
his code works. But if the program comes from 
abroad, and the company is just distributing it here? 
The truth is, we are as good as dead. 

A new emerging pattern is that of small program¬ 
ming houses taking over the distribution of products 
from overseas. Gribnif and Codehead, again, come to 
mind, with some very nice software they distribute. 
They have some people doing actual development and 
taking an occasional phone call. 

By the way, Gribnif sells the Pure Q an excellent 
(supposedly, I haven’t seen it yet) compiler from Ger¬ 
many. The program must be good, as a couple of 
years ago Gribnif’s Dan Wilga, the author of 
NeoDesk, rewrote his program under this system; 
only a year or so later they secured the distribution 
rights. The bad news is, the market is so small that 
they yet have to translate the manual into English! Just 
the cold numbers. 

Brits to the Rescue 

In view of all this, more and more people are re¬ 
sorting to an obvious solution: buying the software di¬ 
rectly from Great Britain. Their market is much big¬ 
ger than ours, and their manuals are written in a lan¬ 
guage resembling English: it does not take a rocket sci¬ 
entist to figure out what programme means. 

In the era of plastic money and functioning mail, 
this makes sense. A knowledgeable review (I hope to 
see more write-ups of programs from overseas, in 
Current Notes or elsewhere) may tell us more about 
the program than handling the box in a store, and a 
good demo version may be better than a casual 
dealer’s demonstration. 

So let us not be put off by the “no US support” 
thing. The American dollar is still OK, and British 
companies want our money. Or, if the US distributor 
does not provide phone support, so what? It’s nice to 
have it, but we can do without. As long as someone out 
there keeps writing programs you can use and enjoy, 
you can get the software you need. All it takes is a 50- 
cent stamp, a short letter and credit card number. Pro¬ 
vided, of course, that you know enough about the pro¬ 
gram—but this is up to the people who publish and 
who write for the Atari magazines. Can we do some¬ 
thing here? 

[Otto’s Resource Construction Set, CN **730, $4.00; 
CN Library, 122 N Johnson Rd, Sterling, VA 20164.] 

Page 20 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

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Phone (405) 477-3777 • Fax (405) 477-3780 

Moving Toad, 

Some of you may know me in 
my official capacity as part-owner 
of Toad Computers. Writing in that 
capacity, we recently moved our 
store, and the story of the move is 
filled with melodrama and feigned 
agony—as well as some genuine 
tough decisions. While it may seem 
that this story is of singular impor¬ 
tance to Toad Computers, other 
dealers (and end users) may find 
our rationale interesting. 

Growing in the Atari Market 

We’d been in our previous loca¬ 
tion (i.e. humble location of 1,000 
square feet) since 1988. In 1988 it 
seemed a challenge to fill it. We 
had a 1040, a 130XE, and about a 
hundred software titles. Of course, 
we grew over the next few years, 
and we became increasingly adept 
at stacking, boxing, bundling, and 
creative hanging. 

We even signed another three- 
year lease in June of 1991. Sure 
we’d grown much bigger, but by 
storing our bulkiest stock (and sup¬ 
plies, like empty cardboard boxes 
for shipping) off-site, we were able 
to keep our store manageable. That 
was the same month that we began 
work on our first large scale direct- 
mail effort—our first catalog. 

Well, by fall the catalog was 
out, the Christmas rush had begun, 
and we were rapidly becoming ex¬ 
tremely cramp^. (You could feel 
the fish oil being added, as if in the 
final stages of the packing process 
at your local sardine manufactory.) 
To avoid being shipped away for 
sale to the discerning fish-con¬ 
sumer, in December we began 
looking for a new location. 

Learning Our First l^csson 

In December 1991, in our hum¬ 
ble ville of Severna Park, there 
were about 20 empty retail loca¬ 
tions which fit our description (big¬ 
ger, larger, and cute). And the 
economy was such that we felt we 
could get a good deal (low retail oc¬ 
cupancy, low interest rates, desper¬ 
ate real-estate agents, et cetera). 
There was one space in particular 
that caught our eye—directly across 
the street from us and about four 
times bigger (3,748 square feet). 

That location was shaped like a 
giant L. There was a long “retail” 
space, and in the rear (the base of 
the L), there was a giant (read “cav¬ 
ernous”) storage room and office 
area. And the ceiling was about 17 
feet high—room enough for a sec¬ 
ond floor! 

Our county’s building code 
stipulates that in that type of build¬ 
ing, a mezzanine floor (our 
planned second floor) can not ex¬ 
ceed 1,200 square feet (1/3 the 
space of the ground floor). 

The place had not been rented 
since 1986, when it was a real-es¬ 
tate office. A woman had signed a 
lease shortly after to start a “body- 
salon” and health food store there. 
One night (before the lease was 
signed, incidentally), she and her 
boyfriend flipped out on LSD and 
demolished everything in the place 
and took it to the dump. That in¬ 
cluded walls, ceiling tiles, and as¬ 
bestos (real smart) floor tiles. 
Shortly after (and after the lease 
was signed), the woman skipped 
town. And her mother, a cosigner 
on the lease, was sued to shreds. 

This retail gem was left in the 
condition that LSD-girl left it—no 
walls, cement floor, no ceiling, no 
plumbing. So, gallant Toad Com¬ 
puters, emerging from a flat local 
economy, offering to take this 
hard-to-rent puppy off of the no¬ 
revenue list, seemed a strong temp¬ 

We made plans for our second 
floor, for the first floor, and nu¬ 
merous phone calls to get contrac¬ 
tor quotes on the buildout. The 
landlord had promised to pay for 
everything but the second floor to 
be built—and it looked as if the sec¬ 
ond floor would not be prohibi¬ 
tively expensive. I was busy with 
school, and creating our next cata¬ 
log. And since that space hadn’t 
been rented in six years, we took 
our time to do our planning right. 
Fatal Error tt6. 

When we were ready to sign a 
lease in May, Francis (a virile 
woman whose glares could freeze 
mixed drinks, also the property 
manager) decided that the bii^ 
we’d obtained for the work were 
too high, and within a week, “her 
guy” had bid the job at about 
$30,000 less than our previous bids. 
Cool. But by then, another player 
had entered. Keep in mind that by 
then (May), there was about half as 
much available retail space here. 

The other player was identified 
for a long time as “the carpet guy.” 
Yep. He had a carpet store. Just 
what we need-more carpet. And 
you can bet that it would be a heck 
of a lot cheaper to put in a carpet 
store than it would for them to set 
us up to our specifications, what 
with the second floor and all. 

Page 22 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

To make an extremely long 
story short, we didn’t get the place. 
It would have been a lot easier to 
take if the realtors had been hon¬ 
est, if the landlord there had been 
honest, and we had been kept in¬ 
formed of what was going on. But 
even though we had submitted a 
letter-of-intent before anyone else, 
what it came down to was money. 
We spent too much time “doing the 
right thing,” and all the landlord 
wanted to see was who would be 
cheaper to get operational. Needless 
to say, they didn’t consider which 
company might make a more sig¬ 
nificant long-term contribution to 
the community. It would not be un¬ 
fair to say that 90% of the people 
involved in that deal were either 
dishonest or stupid, or both. 

A New Home for Toad Computers 

So there we were in late May, 
with a brand new set of even-big¬ 
ger catalogs going out, and very 
cramped indeed. And the cards 
were stacked against us. Our local 
economy had recovered a great 
deal (as 1 said, there was much less 
available retail space). And we were 
going to have a hard time finding a 
place as cheap as our previous find. 

We started calling around like 
crazy. Jennifer and 1 spent about 
two weeks looking at places. There 
was a 5,000 square foot post office 
that was closing, an old house at¬ 
tached to a shopping center, a bike 
shop, and many others. But the “di¬ 
et place” is what finally caught our 
eye-but would it be too expensive? 

The diet place was about 1,000 
feet from our old location and 
about ,4,000 square feet The diet 
place had been operated by our lo¬ 
cal hospital, but was closed due to 
program budget cuts. Unlike LSD- 
girl’s place, this location was di¬ 
vided up into two halves. One half 
was a large open room with an of¬ 
fice overlooking it (via a large win¬ 
dow). The other half was divided 
into several mid-sized rooms, and 
two large rooms. It was very tempt¬ 
ing, indeed. 

We’d always wanted to have a 
classroom. We’d always wanted to 
have offices. We’d always wanted 
to have a stockroom. An eight-bit 
room. A repair lab. You get the 

The only banana-peel was 
price. The diet place was in a new, 
modern shopping center (built 
1987). The giant Texas-based devel¬ 
oper, Trammel-Crow, owned the 
shopping center. And as we all 
know, they can be unrealistic. 

The advantage that we had 
here, though, was that we required 
no buildout. We loved the place as 
it was—with its spacious rooms, 
beautiful carpet, vast windows, and 
10-ton polished-pine doors, it was 
perfect. So we traded our reduced 
initial cost for reduced rent, which 
is better for us. 

We worked furiously (“propose 
$2,000 cheaper,” was bandied fre¬ 
quently) with Trammel-Crow and 
our Luke Skywalker-like real estate 
agent for about two weeks, and by 
the end of June the lease was 
signed. We moved in in July. We 
even squeezed some free rent out 
of them. And the price was signifi¬ 
cantly less than our original loca¬ 

The Birth of Toad Music 

Things were starting to come 
together. The only thing that had to 
be resolved at that point was what 
to do with our old location. We’d 
signed a lease that would not expire 
until June 1994, and while the land¬ 
lord was flexible about another 
party taking over the lease with no 
penalty, it was still our responsibil¬ 
ity to find another party, which 
costs money. We got to thinking 
that maybe it wasn’t so smart to 
give the place up. 

A friend of ours, Alex, (who 
had been working as a buyer and 
manager at Tower Records in An¬ 
napolis for a year) had expressed in¬ 
terest in starting a specialty music 
store in the location, but was reluc¬ 
tant because of the risk. We 
thought the idea was great, but de¬ 
spite our encouragement, he still 

felt the risk was too great. Jennifer 
and I decided, while on a short ca¬ 
noe trip one evening, that we would 
start the music store ourselves. 

We wanted to sell compact 
discs and Atari MIDI equipment, 
and perhaps Lynxes there. A recent 
survey revealed that the only thing 
Severna Park residents felt was 
missing from their community 
was a music store. So the risk 
wasn’t that great—the lease had 
only two years remaining, and the 
worst you can do is end up with a 
bunch of CD’s. And similar stores 
in the region thrive. 

After re-convening with Alex, 
he decided that he would be willing 
to share in the risk with us, and so 
Toad Music, Inc. was formed. This 
was perfect. Alex could manage the 
music store—and to top it off, he’s 
an Atari MIDI nut! 

The same night as the canoe 
trip, Jennifer and I made up a 
schedule for the summer. We would 
open Toad Computers at their new 
location in early July. We would 
open Toad Music by August 1st 
And amazingly enough, here on 
August 7th, 1 can tell you that we 
stuck with our schedule. We pulled 
four all-nighters in the last 30 days. 
But the work is done. And Toad 
Computers and Toad Music are 
both now in a position to make 

Wc Wanted a Retail Outlet 

People have said that because 
most of our income is generated 
from out-of-state, mail-order sales 
that we should have moved to a 
cheaper warehouse location. But I 
don’t think that is really fair to our 
customers. When you want to shop 
for a microwave oven or a TV, you 
don’t go to a warehouse, you go to 
a retail store. To relocate to a ware¬ 
house would be tantamount to tak¬ 
ing out a print ad that says, “Atari 
Computers are not fit for the main¬ 
stream market.” That’s not what 
we believe. There also is no ware¬ 
house space in our immediate area. 
I feel a responsibility to our local 
area-my hometown. Relocating to 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 23 

another area would remove whatev¬ 
er influence I might have as an ev¬ 
eryday resident. (It’s one thing to 
sell snake-oil in your hometown, 
but it’s another thing altogether to 
sell snake-oil three towns over.) 

Other Atari resellers should 
consider that having a place where 
customers can come and look at 
hardware and software is an impor¬ 
tant part of being a responsible 
dealer and in the end, making the 
sale. Making a commitment to be 
in one place means that a customer 
can trust in you, build a history 
with you, and ultimately buy more 
from you. Otherwise, there’s no ac¬ 
countability. And for all the cus¬ 
tomer knows, you can skip town 
whenever the heat is turned 
up—just like LSD-girl. 

Anyway, you’ve heard the saga. 
The scumbag realtors are why it 
took us six months to move (and 
we thank divine providence daily 
that things went the way they did). 
Alex (and our lease) is why Toad 
Music exists. And now you know 
why we’re so excited. We’re finally 
in a position to fully (and enthusias¬ 
tically) support every aspect of the 
Atari, and thanks to Toad Music, 
we’re now really supporting MIDI. 

Between our grand opening 
and our moving sale, we pulled in 
about 500 people. That was very 
promising. Thanks to our new loca¬ 
tion, we’re holding this “Fest before 
the Fest” event, before the WAACE 
Atarifest. That, too, should be very 
promising, as several notable guests 
have already agreed to attend. 
We’re also now sponsoring pseudo 
user-group meetings, classes, and 
more. And it’s all thanks to the 
new location. Those interested in a 
complete roundup of our activities 
should read file 025048 on GEnie’s 
ST roundtable. But again, our new 
location is making the impossible 

Link Will Be Hot 

Sure to be the hot product this 
fall is ICD’s “The Link.” As you 
probably know by now, it’s an ex¬ 
ternal SCSI host adapter for Atari 

Computers without true SCSI ports 
(everything except for the TT030 
and Falcon). The LINK is revolu¬ 
tionary for two reasons. 

First, it’s external. That means 
that Mac (or PC) external SCSI de¬ 
vices with 50-pin Centronics con¬ 
nectors can be used, without even 
opening their cases, Erectly on the 
ST. The Link simply plugs into the 
rear of the drive and translates to a 
DB19 for connection to the ST’s 
DMA port. Right away, you’re 
opening doors to the hundreds of 
external SCSI drives available for 
Macintosh and PC. 

The second reason you’ll lust 
for The Link is the software ICD 
will be bundling with it Because 
they now support full 16-bit SCSI, 
they’ve been able to write drivers 
for Atari’s Metados which support 
CD ROM drives. So now, just about 
any standard SCSI CD ROM drive 
can be used on any ST. This is way 

ICD’s new software also sup¬ 
ports the Insite Peripherals 21MB 
floptical SCSI drive. For those of 
you who are unfamiliar with flopti¬ 
cal technology, a standard 3.5” 
high-density disk is embedded with 
“optical” tracks, which are read by 
a laser in the drive. The optical 
tracks are used not for data stor¬ 
age (as on CD-ROMS) but rather 
for alignment of the standard mag¬ 
netic head in the drive. By using 
this precise optical alignment tech¬ 
nology, data can be reliably stored 
in the magnetic dead zones be 
tween tracks on standard diskettes, 
vamping their capacity up to a 
whopping 21MB. The drive formats 
just like a Seagate ST225N SCSI 
drive. But in addition to this high 
capacity mode, ICD’s new software 
gives the drive the ability to read 
standard 720K and 1.44MB disks! 
Tired of funky hardware mods just 
to be able to read PC 1.44MB 
disks? The Insite drive requires no 
modifications and will read your 
standard ST disks, 1.44MB ST or 
PC disks, as well as the super-high 
capacity 21MB disks. Again, The 

Link and its associates will be very 
hot products. 

Of course, the Falcon’s official 
public release in Duesseldorf will 
be watched worldwide by Atari 
nuts. I will be there (two weeks 
from today), introducing our new 
Stealth SCSI hard drive subsystem. 
They’re custom designed to be 
small, portable, and will work on 
the TT030, Falcon, or any ST (via 
The Link). Expect those out in &p- 
tember—regardless of the Falcon’s 
release date. 

See You at the Fest (Before, or 

I hope to see y’all at both our 
event (to check out our new loca¬ 
tion, nudge nudge) as well as at the 
WAACE Atarifest. Those who 
think that the Atari market is in 
any way slow or dwindling, think 
again—we’re having a grand old 
time. All you need is the right atti¬ 

Show Information 

WAACE Atarifest: 
October 10 & 11 
Sheraton Inn, Reston, VA 
10:00 am—6:00 pm 
Contact Charles Hoffmann 
(703) 629-6734 

Toad Computers 
“Fest Before the Fest” 
Thursday October 8,1992 
8:00 am—10:00 pm 
Friday October 9,1992 
8:00 am—5:00 pm. 
Toad Computers 
570F Ritchie Highway 
Severna Park, MD 
Call (410) 544-6943 

How to Reach Me: 

Phone: (410) 544-6943 
FAX: (410) 544-lFAX 
MAIL: David TVoy 

570F Ritchie Highway 
Severna Park, MD 21146 
GENIE: Toad-Serv. 

Serve: 72470,1605 

Page 24 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 


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Expires Sept. 30. Mail In - 
please list alternates. 

The Junkyard Pussycat’s readers will be seeing 
this column in early September, soon after students all 
over America return to their classrooms. It seems like 
as good a time as any to address a couple items related 
to education. 

The Demise of the Heathkit 

The Pussycat and millions of his contemporaries 
found electronic assembly kits to be an essential part 
of their adolescence. One could take the pennies labo¬ 
riously saved from one’s paper route to the local outlet 
for Heathkit, EICO, or a couple other companies and 
bring home a carton filled with vacuum tubes, knobs, 
switches, screws, pre-drilled chassis parts, and circuit 

With a soldering iron, a few nut drivers, and 
suitable wire cutting tools one could follow simple in¬ 
structions and assemble all sorts of electronic devices 
ranging from a simple electronic multimeter, up 
through stereo components, and on to color TV sets 
and oscilloscopes. 

Exceptionally careful and dexterous workers could 
get the items to work as soon as they were plugged in, 
but many others had to turn to the troubleshooting 
section of the manual for help in finding the miswired 
parts of the circuit and correcting the problems. Along 
the way people could pick up a few bits of knowledge 
about electronics. 

One of the Pussycat’s Current Notes colleagues, a 
person of tender years but exceptional maturity, re¬ 
cently informed him that Heathkit, the company that 
set the standard in this arena, has gone under com¬ 
pletely. The company was undoubtedly beset by finan¬ 
cial woes, but it also seems that several cultural and 
technological changes contributed to this. 

While everyone looks back fondly on the things 
they did as a youth, the Pussycat feels that the loss of 
Heathkit and its kin is a special sign of the gradual cul¬ 
tural impoverishment of our nation. Developing 
minds will have less opportunity to hone their mental 
and motor skills with the kind of fine work that is 
needed to make electrons follow their appointed course 
to amplify signals snatched out of the sky. 

Technological Change 

Heathkit must be viewed, at least in part, as a vic¬ 
tim of technological progress. The bulky VTVM’s 

(Vacuum Tube Voltmeter) have been replaced with an 
array of cunning microchips encased in a plastic box 
the size of a pack of cigarettes. The modern multime¬ 
ter switches ranges automatically and displays its read¬ 
ings to 3 or 4 digits on an LCD. A single 9-volt transis¬ 
tor battery replaces the wall socket and power cord. In¬ 
deed, there are now devices that display AC wave¬ 
forms in LCDs, thus reducing the need for bulky and 
expensive oscilloscopes. 

One shudders to think what the inflation-adjusted 
price of a VTVM kit that cost between $40 and $50 in 
the 1950s would be today. The move to integrated cir¬ 
cuits and improved packaging have kept the price of 
these tools within reason. It now makes more eco¬ 
nomic sense to have Mexican labor assemble the 
small number of chips and printed circuit boards into 
a finished product than it does to dump them into a 
box for assembly by the end user. 

As devices have become smarter, assembling 
them into workable gadgets has become more de¬ 
manding. A few electrons from a bolt of static electric¬ 
ity will destroy many of today’s integrated circuits, so 
that working with them requires increased care. In¬ 
creased sensitivity requires that signals be routed more 
carefully to avoid interference. The high frequencies 
needed for digital processing must be shielded to avoid 
pickup by other sensitive devices nearby. 

This progress has come at a price, as anyone who 
has lost his computer system to a power spike can at¬ 
test The march of solid state technology has, however, 
been inexorable. It still pains the Pussycat to trash an 
appliance because it costs more to repair it than it does 
to buy a new one with a newer generation of chips in¬ 
side. Computer technicians these days are often elec¬ 
tronic illiterates who simply swap boards. And, finally, 
woe betides those whose under-the-hood microproces¬ 
sors die while on the way to Ocean City on a hot sum¬ 
mer’s day. 

A few years back the Department of Defense was 
wondering whether the vacuum tube circuits in Soviet 
aircraft were actually a clever adaptation to the electro¬ 
magnetic pulse effects that might blind many U.S. 
smart weapons in nuclear war. 

While we are waiting for more robust technology 
we are at the mercy of the people who write the com¬ 
puter programs that design the chips. Given the 
widespread concern with the “dumbing down” of our 

Page 26 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

school populations, one wonders if there are enough 
people with the smarts to do this work. 


When one looks at what kids do these days, one 
wonders if we are giving youngsters the motor skills 
and the intellectual stimulation needed to become en¬ 
gineers and scientists. The Heathkit generation had the 
time to sit down at a workbench with a soldering iron 
because they were not distracted by television cw com¬ 
puter games. They also were not forced to compete in 
spring, summer, fall, and winter soccer leagues. If 
they were restless, they could open a book and let their 
mind’s eye supplement the contents of the printed 
page. . 

It now seems that a restless child trots off to the 
Nintendo console and allows someone else to create 
his images for him while wreaking mayhem with 
tools no more sophisticated than a joystick and a fire 

A university professor friend of the Pussycat’s was 
passing through the other day and lamented that the 
new generation of college students lacks the ability to 
manipulate objects in three dimensions, thus greatly 
complicating the task of teaching crystallography, a 
subject basic to many fields. Has the flat screen really 
entrapped young minds to such an extent? 

If; indeed, the imagery in young minds is exclu¬ 
sively under the control of the TV and computer game 
writers and if, indeed, young people have nothing bet¬ 
ter to do with their hands than to turn on the TV or 
push the fire button, our society is surely poorer than 
it was just a few years ago. 

Don’t Teach Your Kids to Program 

The same university professor friend of the Pussy¬ 
cat’s also stated that he was slated to teach a course in 
computer programming for chemical engineers in the 
coming term. This, of course, brought the Pussycat 
back to one of his perennial pet peeves. 

People should not be taught to program comput¬ 
ers. The Pussycat feels that People should leant to pro¬ 
gram computers when they need to in order to solve 
problems that interest them. What’s the difference be¬ 
tween the former activity and the latter? In the second 
case, the desire to learn and the subject content are 
driven by needs that the student feels. In the first case, 
the process is driven by some educator’s idea of the 
student’s needs. It is not too hard to see that these are 
often very different. 

Over time, computer scientists have tried to make 
their trade respectable by building an abstract intellec¬ 
tual base for it. Writing computer programs becomes 
an end in itself. The chemical engineering department 
at the professor’s university apparently recognizes this 
and is not willing to subcontract the task of teaching 

computing out to the computer science department. 
What should they do instead? 

The Pussycat suggests that they integrate the use 
of computers into all of the problem solving activities 
that engineers encounter in the course of their educa¬ 
tion. Freed from the quandary of deciding whether to 
teach QuickBasic, Pascal, or FORTRAN, or all three, 
educators will have more time to teach their subjects. 
Use the tools that are most appropriate to the problem 
at hand. Let the students mature in their scientific so¬ 
phistication to the point where they themselves decide 
which tools are the best for the problems they have to 

This model assumes that students have computers 
close at hand when they need them and that the com¬ 
puters are outfitted with a variety of software tools. It 
also assumes that the educators have adapted those 
tools to the needs of their curricula. These are not 
easy tasks and it is often simpler to say, “Let’s teach 
the students programming and hope that they come 
up with things that we can use.” It is obvious that this 
later approach represents little more than wheel spin¬ 
ning for the students. 

The Pussycat suspects that it is also counterpro¬ 
ductive because the tedium of learning to program 
will only seldom be relieved by the joy of discovery 
that comes at recognizing when a problem has been 
solved. Students already have plenty of rote learning to 
do without being burdened with more of it. 

Rote learning is no longer recognized as a good 
way to study foreign languages. It is far better to con¬ 
verse, read, and write as befits one’s needs. Human 
languages have their own grammar, vocabulary, and 
sets of colloquialisms. It is the same with computer 
languages and learning these in an isolated context is 
just as unrewarding. 

The model in which learning is driven by the 
need to solve a problem has served the Pussycat well 
over the 30-t- years he has spent in his career. He has 
observed the way it works in others and finds it to be 
far more satisfactory than the spoon-fed alternative. 

Non-Programming Tools 

For many introductory purposes in education one 
does not need to know how to program in order to use 
a computer. Spreadsheets are a very good example. 
The Pussycat finds them an excellent tool for crystal¬ 
lographic work because a change in one parameter of 
the structure is instantly reflected in the outputs. A 
statistical spreadsheet lays out all of the data at the 
same time it presents the summary statistics. Quick 
plots are possible with a few selections. There are 
many models of phenomena in astronomy, chemistry, 
and physics that can be expressed in simple equations 
that are easily laid in spreadsheet form. Organizing 
data so that its significance can be grasped at a glance 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 27 

is an important skill. Spreadsheets promote this 
without the tedium that is associated with formatting 
output from even the simplest BASIC program. 

Symbolic manipulation programs like Theorist 
and Mathematica are also powerful tools. The equa¬ 
tions that represent the phenomenon being modeled 
are always at the forefront in these tools. This helps 
the user ai^reciate the way in which assumptions and 
changes in parameter values affect the outcome 
without getting buried in the details of FOR-NEXT 
and other constructs. 

Laboratory data collection is an area where pro¬ 
grammers once reigned supreme. Nowadays, we see 
tools like Lab Tech Notebook and Labview that modu¬ 
larize this operation by allowing the user to connect 
computer-controlled instruments together in a fashion 
that emphasizes the character of the experiment 
rather than the program that controls it 

Programming as a Craft 

There is more to programming than simply writ¬ 
ing down a bunch of statements and compiling them. 
Some people have the knack; others will never acquire 
it Proper debugging takes a lot of patience. Experi¬ 
ence is often the best guide to the most likely ap¬ 
proach. Techniques that work for one programmer 
sometimes fail for others. Given these observations it 
seems best to think of programming as a craft that 
must be practiced rather than as a subject, like algebra 
or chemistry, that can be taught (although not every¬ 
one is capable of digesting these, either). 

The Pussycat has seen too many of the summer 
interns who have worked for him throw iq) their hands 
over programming mistakes without ever trying to 
puzzle out the sources of the problem. It seems that 
they want instant gratification. They fail to appreciate 
their own capacity for making errors. If their Hrst ap¬ 
proach does not work, they want to switch to some¬ 
thing else rather than bring the problem to a solution. 

This seems like another version of TV channel 
switching. For many of them their summer work is 
their first experience with the necessity of bringing a 
significant task to completion. Their public school 
teachers have frequently praised half-completed efforts 
so that they could move on to give a few minutes to 
the next student 

A properly chosen problem in science or engineer¬ 
ing becomes the motivator to force its own solution. 
Curiosity as to the form the answer might take has 
kept the Pussycat awake through many a long night, 
with the beauty of the answer as an ample reward in 
dawn’s early light The Pussycat envies today’s stu¬ 
dents for the tools that are available to them for ac¬ 
quiring a mastery of complex subjects like astronomy, 
quantum theory, and electromagnetic radiation. Mere 
“chicken tracks” can be transformed into illuminating 
images on the screen. 

The technique of learning by solving problems 
has probably not changed in the last 30 years, but the 
problems may have become more complex. Phenom¬ 
ena that were overlooked in the rush to derive equa¬ 
tions for closed form solutions can now be explored in 
exquisite detail. One wonders, however, if the idea that 
the planets’ movements are chaotic is more comfort¬ 
ing than the old music of the spheres. 

When to Program 

There Finally comes a time in the life of a scientist 
or engineer when the problem at hand becomes com¬ 
plex enough that one is forced to sit down and write a 
program. Given that computers only do what they are 
told to do, the programmer must accept the responsi¬ 
bility for developing an efficient and correct method 
for solving the problem. He must then code this solu¬ 
tion into a set of instructions that the computer knows 
how to interpret This coding process will be guided 
by the syntax of the programming language, the va¬ 
garies of the compiler, and the ability of the computer 
to do simple arithmetic. 

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•IRS copies of all supported forms 
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Complete Package 



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Page 28 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 



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Fragments and 

This month, we’re returning to the ever-nagging 
concerns over maintaining hard drive contents; but first 
a word about this Atarian’s favorite dungeon. 

IBM Dungeon Master is Here! 

On Saturday, August 1st, I visited my friendly 
neighborhood Atari dealer and saw (on the PC side of 
the room) a box wearing familiar cover art. Yes, the PC 
version of Dungeon Master is finally out! 

There’s a piece of hardware in the package; accord¬ 
ing to the box illustration, it seems to consist of a mul¬ 
ti-pin connector with two short cables on the other side. 
Early word from FTL had been that the PC version 
would not require any additional hardware. This must 
be it. 

Congratulations to FTL Games for getting this 
package out the door; it’s been a long time coming 
(nearly four years?). 

Folks have suggested that others have improved 
upon FTL in games released the last couple years or so. 
1 think that if FTL adhered to the same standards of ex¬ 
cellence with this PC port as with the original, it’ll be 
well worth the attention of PC gamers. DM fans will be 
hoping this is a signal of renewed US activity from a 
fine team of game builders. 

Return of the Defraggers 

The April 1989 issue of Current Notes carried my 
article on managing a hard disk drive’s contents, in 
other columns, we’ve dis¬ 
cussed the value of hard 
disk optimization pro¬ 
grams, or defraggers. 

The one I’ve used for sev¬ 
eral years is an early ver¬ 
sion of Tuneup! from 
Michtron, and it has 
served me well. This pro¬ 
gram was later bundled 
with some other 
Michtron programs and 
marketed as their Toolkit. 

I recently purchased a bigger hard drive and began 
to wonder if my old version might have problems with 
partitions bigger than 16MB. Oops. I figured it just 
might be time to replace that ol’ trusty program with a 
newer model: Beckemeyer’s Hard Disk Sentry. 

If You Just Came In... 

Any hard drive will eventually experience fragmen¬ 
tation, which is a condition that occurs because of the 
way the system’s file management software allocates 
space to a file. 

The system maintains tables on the drive which 
serve to keep track of what portions of the disk are cur¬ 
rently allocated to which files and the location of avail¬ 
able space for new files. There’s also information on 
how the sectors are chained together, defining the or¬ 
dered string of data that is each file. 

As files are created and deleted, these “free” areas 
get kind of chopped up, with chunks of available space 
scattered around the disk. New files also get cut into 
pieces as the system looks for and allocates space for 
them. This phenomenon is called fragmentation. 

When you’re reading a file that is seriously frag¬ 
mented, the drive’s read heads may have to move 
around quite a bit in order to read the file in the correct 
logical order. This eventually starts to slow down the 
process. The same sort of thing happens when you’re 
creating files as the system searches out free space for 

On the Atari ST machines, versions of TOS earlier 
than 1.4 slowed down dramatically when the disk be¬ 
came heavily fragmented. This was due to inefficiencies 
in the disk management software. TOS 1.4 and later 
versions fixed this problem, but fragmentation can still 
have an observable impact on system performance. 

What a defragger does is rearrange the files on the 
drive so that the file is stored in contiguous sectors (ac¬ 
tually groups of sectors called clusters). The program 
also gathers up all the free space into a contiguous set of 
available clusters. Also at issue is where the free space is 
concentrated: at the beginning of the disk or at the end 
(high addresses). The former allows the system to find 
free sectors more quickly, and works best for active par¬ 
titions and the older TOS versions. 

Beckemeyer’s Hard Disk Sentry 

The Hard Disk Sentry package consists of two pro¬ 
grams: a disk surface analysis program (DT.PRG), and 
the Sentry program itself (SENTRY.PRG). There’s also 
a third program that is supposed to be used with pc 
ditto; I won’t be talking about that one. 


(c) Copyright 1987-1992 
Thonas E Zerucha 
All Rights Reserved 
Exclusively Licensed to 
Beckeneyer Developnent 



1 c 












ICancell I Print I I I 

Page 30 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

Disk Surface Analysis 

The purpose of this program is to scan the disk for 
bad (unusable) clusters. According to the manual, this 
program is capable of marking the bad sectors as a tem¬ 
porary measure in recovery. Neither the disk analyzer 
nor Hard Disk Sentry is capable of truly mapping the 
bad clusters out. The manual stresses that only your 
low-level disk formatter is capable of doing that. 

The disk analyzer does take a while to run, since 
what it does is read all s( 
of them). An option will 
perform a non-destruc¬ 
tive write operation in¬ 
stead of a simple read. 

This consists of reading 
a sector, writing it back, 
then reading it again to 
verify the sector is fully 
operational. This can be 
dangerous if your sys¬ 
tem is sick. 

The manual is care¬ 
ful to identify the risks in all the Hard Disk Sentry and 
disk analyzer operations, so it’s important to read it 
carefully. It’s short~20 pages. 

Hard Disk Sentry 

The Hard Disk Sentry program performs an exten¬ 
sive analysis of the directory and EAT (File Allocation 
Table). It can identify and attempt to recover “orphan” 
files—those which appear as a chain of clusters in the 
FAT, but which have no directory entry. 

The statistics display reports the results of the FAT 
analysis, and the map gives a symbolic representation 
of a drive’s contents. The program also gives its recom¬ 
mendation on whether or not the defragging (optimiza¬ 
tion) step should be performed. This is a nice feature, 
but your judgement can override the program’s recom¬ 
mendation if you wish. 

The (Manual 

As mentioned above, the manual is brief but com¬ 
prehensive, providing adequate instructions and expla¬ 
nations of program output and operation. 


Using this kind of program is a little like going to 
the doctor; one hopes the diagnosis is that of robust 
health. No errors, no broken files, no files contaminated 
by bad sectors, and no recovery needed. 

Fortunately, my drive is quite healthy, and I have no 
urge to break something in order to find out how well 
the recovery features work. Hard Disk Sentry and its 
companion analyzer seem to work smoothly and well; 
the word from several folks on CompuServe is that it is 
reliable. Recommended. 

I’d like to stress that Tuneup! has never messed me 
up either; but my version may just be a little out of date 
and its graphic display for a large partition didn’t look 
right. Hence, my move to Hard Disk Sentry. 

A Freeware Analyzer 

The Beckemeyer folks have released a freeware ver¬ 
sion of the analysis section of Hard Disk Sentry. This is 

not the disk surface ana¬ 
lyzer; it’s the FAT analysis 
and symbolic report part. 
It’s not capable of doing 
the defragging operation, 
but will indicate whether 
you need a defragger. 
Naturally, the display 
includes a plug for Hard 
Disk Sentry. If you don’t 
already own a defragger, 
this program can tell you 
whether you need one. 

Total FflT clusters 


Bad File Endings 


FflT File Starts 


Invalid FRT clusters 


FRT File Ends 


Chain collisions 


Contiguous Clusters 


Non-contiguous Clusters 


Total Files 


Orphan Files 


Total File Clusters 


Orphan Decendants 


Free Clusters 


Orphan Clusters 


Recoverable Clusters 


Unuseable Clusters 


Total Errors 


Unknown Clusters 


Total Good Files 


Status display for Uolune C 

IContinuel Print 


ctors on a partition (thousands 

Disk Sector Test 

Select Drive 

m CB a [E [T] [E m m 
iTi [Ti rTri iTiiTrinnmm 

(c) Copyright 198) 
BccKcncycr Development Tools 

I Non-DescructJve Mrite Option | 

I Test Once > ^1 

I Test Forever I 



September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 31 


^aia^“TExt & /2ettieira/ JffyAtem 

by Don Elmore 

I have Data Manager ST, and 
Superbase/2. I’ve even tried dbMan 
in a couple of its iterations. But, 
which data base program sits on 
my “C” Drive and contains those 
modest files and records that I ac¬ 
cess on a fairly regular basis? 
Findex V! Why? Well, the main 
reason is ease of use. I am able to 
enter and save data and actually 
find it again when I need it I know 
that virtually any of the data base 
programs are designed to do that, 
and more... but, as Findex’s litera¬ 
ture says, “Findex V is as compli¬ 
cated or simple as you want.” It is. 

Findex V compares itself with 
both “Flat Field” and “Relational” 
data base programs, and claims to 
approach accessing and managing 
information from a totally different 
perspective. Findex V calls that per¬ 
spective Multiple Keyword Logic 
(MKL). MKL claims to handle in¬ 
formation the same way that the 
human brain does, e.g. “without 
conscious set-up procedures, han¬ 
dling information in an unformatt¬ 
ed, disjointed ... UNLIMITED 
manner.” Yet, like your brain, with 
the simplest reference, you can 
find, link and organize what infor¬ 
mation you want. 

Now, when you start talking 
about Flat Fields or Relational or 
even Non-Relational data bases, 
you quickly lose me. And, if 1 had 
read the MKL description, 1 admit 
that 1 probably would never have 
purchased the program. A friend 
showed me Findex V, and when I 
saw it in action, 1 figured it would 
handle all of my data base needs 
nicely, thank you, and then some. 

The excellent instruction 
manual describes Findex V as rang¬ 
ing from a box of index cards to a 
“field-less multi-dimensional, flexi- 

form data base.” 1 don’t know 
about the latter, but, what you see 
when you first enter a record is a 
blank screen with a blinking cursor 
in the top, left-hand corner. There 
are no “fields.” 

Findex V does not require 
records to be structured identi¬ 
cally (unless you want them to be). 
The screen shows the first 20 lines, 
and each record can be scrolled 
down through two more screens, 
giving a total of 60 lines per 
“page.” If you need more for any 
record, you can continue on a sec¬ 
ond “page.” Yet, if you want to es¬ 
tablish a formatted data entry, say a 
mailing list with specific fields; 
name, street address, city. State, 
etc., you can set up a data entry for¬ 
mat, as I did in my Xmas card list. 

But, since a picture is sup¬ 
posed to be worth a thousand 
words, let’s see if 1 can better ex¬ 
plain the program by showing 
screen dumps of some of my files. 
A good example of the “formatted 
data entry,” is my Christmas list 
file (see figure 1). I have 70 records 
in the file and they are entered by 
filling in the fields that 1 set up for 
the record (figure 2). 

Let’s start by examining the 
Status HindOH in figure 1. The de¬ 
fault for the Filenane is Noname, 
until you save and name a particu¬ 
lar file (like 1 did with “xmaslist”). 

The Space open line tells you 
how much space is available for 
records. Initially, 1 had 262,144 
bytes available. Everycharacter in a 
record uses one byte. 1 have 70 
records in the Xmas file and 
248,552 bytes remaining. 

The Tally line refers to an 
arithmetic function. You can tell 
Findex V which line to look at and 
find a value to add. 1 am not using 
this particular function in my 
Xmas file. 

The Order line (default is 0) 
is used when you sort your records. 
If 1 were to sort the Xmas file on 
the zip codes (line six in figure 2, 
the Order Line would indicate 6. 

The Case sense line is a 
handy tool. It defaults to Yes, mean¬ 
ing that upper or lower case must 
be matched exactly when a search 
is made. 1 turn the sensitivity off 
so that the case of the letters will 
not matter in a search. 

The Output Fornat (default is 
blank) indicates a specific sequence 
in which a record is sent to the 
printer, or to a disk. Each file can 
have as many as 16 different for¬ 
mats. As you can see, I have but 
one (which 1 named Xmascards). 
Why different formats for output? 
Well, you might want to print out 
the entire file, and then also print 



Enter e search comand... Separate Hulti-Uord comands Hith AND, OR, NOT 
UITH, HITHOUT or enter a Connand Option.•• 

Connand Options: 

DEFO Define Output Fornat 
SORT Sort File 
NNAM Give File NEU None 
RST Restart (EMPTY) Database 

ADO Add Nen Record 

ADD/ Fornatted Data Entry 
CHAT Change TALLY Line 
MORE More Connands 

For GROUP functions, append the search connand Mithi 


Connand? | Figure 1. 

Filenane:xnaslist Aug. 04, 1992 

Space open: 248552 Records: 70 

Tally line: 1 Current TOP: 1 

Order line: 0 Baud: 128B 

Case senseino Nth Select; 1 

Output Fornat:xnascards 
Disk Output Filenane: 

Current Active Drive: C: 

Page 32 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 



















rurr»nt rount! 1 

Current Sun!fl 

ENTER/Search More 
E/Edit Record 

Search for: * 
Option? 1 

N/Neh (Haln Henu) 
A/Md NeH Record 

R/Restart Search D/Delete Record 

C/Copy Record M/Hore Coiwands 

Figure 2. 

only the name and address fields 
(for labels). Yes, Findex V will print 
labels if you want it to. Or, you 
might want to have one printing of 
just the family’s name and the 
yearly statistics. So, you can select 
up to 16 different ways to print 
your file. 

The Disk Output Filenane 
(default blank) requires that you 
name a file before it is printed to a 

The Current Active Drive is 
self-explanatory. It shows from 
which drive you are loading files 
and to which drive you are saving 
them. Drives can be changed by 
one of the command options. 

The date depends on your 
computer system. If your computer 
can read a date anywhere, Findex V 
will display it on the screen as 
shown in figure 1. Again, the com¬ 
mand options can be used to 
change the date, should you so de¬ 

Records shows the number of 
records that you have created in the 

Current TOP indicates which 
record line will be at the top of the 
screen when a record is displayed. 

The Baud line is also self-ex¬ 
planatory. It defaults to 1200 but 
can be changed so that transmis¬ 
sion speed matches the speed of the 
receiving computer. 

Nth Select allows you to print 
only certain records in a file. De¬ 
fault is 1, but if you want every 

third or fifth record printed, you 
will have to change the default. 
This particular function only 
works in the GROUP functions. 

There are actually three col¬ 
umns of command options listed at 
the left of the initial screen. You ac¬ 
cess the other two screens by typ¬ 
ing MORE (the last command). The 
commands are clearly explained in 
the instruction manual, and in the 
interest of conserving space, I will 
not describe them individually, as I 
did with the status window. 

Now, as for some examples of 
my files (how I use Findex V) re¬ 
member that figure 2 represents a 
formatted entry set for my Xmas 
card list. Figure 3 shows one of the 
records in that file. There is a pow¬ 
erful search option. If you wish to 
simply browse through the file, 
type an asterisk and then hit [Re- 

you are moved to the next record. 
If you want to go directly to a spe¬ 
cific record, then enter a search 
command, as I have done. I typed 
“raimundo,” and Findex V went 
immediately to the Escallon record. 
I could just as easily have typed 
“rai,” or “mund” and it would have 
done the same. If there are several 
records containing your search 
string, Findex V will pull them all 
up and you cycle through them by 
hitting return, until you are advised 
that there are no more records fit¬ 
ting those search parameters. 

At the beginning of each 
Christmas season, I print out a 
complete listing of the entire file. 
Than as Christmas cards arrive 
(and as we send them out), I note 
each “transaction” on the printed 
list. Then, after Christmas, 1 key in 
that year’s data of cards sent and 

Figure 4 is one record in my 
“Restaurants” file. On the first Sat¬ 
urday of each month, some friends 
and my wife and I try a different 
ethnic restaurant in the Capitol 
area. Using the sort command, I 
choose the line of the record I want 
to sort on and can thereby list the 
restaurants by their name, the type 
of food, addresses, etc. 

Figure 5 is one of 27 records 
in my “Skiing” file. The ski area 
record tend to be the largest 
records that I currently have on 
Findex V This file is a good exam¬ 
ple of a free-form record format. 1 

turn]. Each time you hit [Return], update it annually from data 

Escallon, Rainundo & Haria T. 

18:15:46 PH 


Transversal 2 »112-23 

Bogota 10 


1988 Nada 

1989 Nada 

1998 S X R X 

1991 S X R X 

1992 S R 

1993 S R 

1994 S R 

1995 S R 

Current rount! 1 

Current Sun'B 

ENTER/Search Hore N/NeH (Nain Henu) 

R/Restart Search D/Delete Record 

E/Edit Record A/Rdd Nen Record 

C/Copy Record H/Hore Connands 

Search for: rainundo 

Option? 1 

Figure 3. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 33 

Dona Flor 


4615 4ist St N.H. 

Washington DC 

18:17:56 m 

(262) 537-0484 

Date tried: 1 February 1SS2 

Cofifients: Good food, great Caipirhinia 

Current count! 1 



CNTER/Search More N/NeM (Main Henu) 
E/Edit Record R/Rdd Nen Record 
Search for: dona 

Option? 1 

R/Restart Search 
C/Copy Record 

D/Delete Record 

H/Hore Cowiands 

Figure 4. 

printed in the Washington Post. By 
using Findex V’s extremely power¬ 
ful search commands, I can tell 
Findex V to show all of the ski re¬ 
sorts/areas that are within 175 
miles of my house, that have at 
least a SOO’ vertical drop, night ski¬ 
ing provisions, and with hot tubs 
(in the resort hotel). There are 
three, by the way. 

Using multi-word search com¬ 
mands gives you the ability to re¬ 
trieve exactly the information you 
want. Suppose you have a large data 
base of names and addresses and 
you want to be selective in retriev¬ 
ing some records. 

Snith - will find every occur¬ 
rence of Smith. 

Snith AND Portland * will bring 
up every record that contains both 

Smith and Portland. 

Snith HOT Portland - finds every 
record containing Smith except 
those that contain both Smith and 

Snith HMD Portland NOT Maine - 

finds every Smith from Portland 
except those which contain Maine. 
Like Portland, Oregon for example. 

By adding HITH and HITHOUT, 
you can do "position” searching. 
For example: 

Snith HITH 3=0L - locates 
every record containing the word 
Smith, but only if it finds OL on 
line 3. 

The uses for Findex V are only 
limited by your own imagination. I 
have a recipes file, automobile 
maintenance file, etc. As men¬ 
tioned previously, the instruction 

DOE HOUNTAIN, 155 niles Hacungie, PA (Z15) 682-7105 10:15:08 PM 

fACILITIES; 500-foot vertical: 10 slopes & trails^ 48X beginner, 40X inter- 
nedlate, 20X expert; longest run 4,700 feet, 4 chairs, 2 toMS, 1 T-Bar, Lift 
capacity 3,608/ hr. SnoMnaking lOO::. Lighting 100:< slopes S trails. 

LIFT tickets: Adults $23 Heekdays, $28 weekends S holidays; $17 nights. 
Children 6-10 $13 anytine, under six $3. Group discounts. 

SKI SCHOOL: ATS Group lessons, $12 for 1.5 hrs. Private, $38/hr. Organized 
groups, $8.58/person; children's group lessons, age 5-10, $11 

SERVICES S ACCOHHODATIOHS: Slopeside: cafeteria, bar-restaurant. Snack bar 
on nountain top. Motel h/ 16 roons. Ski rpt: (215) 682-7167, 682-7207 

DIRECTIONS: 1-55 north to Mllnington, then Route 202 north to Route 100 north 
to Hereford, at Junction of Route 25, At junction of 25 and 100, turn left 
on the coutry road and go five niles to resort entrance. 

_ Current count: 1 _ 

EHTER/Search More N/NeM (Main Menu) 

E/Edit Record A/Add Hew Record 

Search for: doe 
Option? I 

_ Current Sun:0 _ 

R/Restart Search D/Delete Record 
C/Copy Record M/More Connands 

Figure 5. 

manual is well written and there 
are two tutorials that will have you 
up and running (literally) in five 
minutes. You can print out reports, 
there are powerful mail merge 
functions, and as mentioned above, 
you can also print labels if you so 
desire. Oh, by the way, not only is 
the manual well written, it is hu¬ 
morously written. Tom Woods 
(writer and editor of the manual) 
includes many personal anecdotes 
and tips and really helps answer 
questions from users like me. 

Are there downsides to this 
program? Yep. One feature that I 
don’t like is that Findex V is not 
GEM based. All transactions must 
be performed via the keyboard, no 
mouse. 1 guess that another down¬ 
side is the availability of the pro¬ 
gram. The only place that I have 
been able to find it is listed in the 
E. Arthur Brown Computer Enthu¬ 
siast Catalog. It is priced at $49.95 
and is, in this writer’s opinion, well 
worth it. If you want a relatively 
simple data base program, whose 
performance is rock solid, 1 recom¬ 
mend Findex V 

The E. Arthur Brown Com¬ 
pany is located at 3404 Pawnee 
Drive, Alexandria, MN 56308. Tele¬ 
phone (612) 762-8847. 

Current Notes ST Library 
44 Mb PD/Shareware 

The CN Library is also distributed 
on 44MB Syquest cartridges. Each 
cartridge is filled with PD and 
shareware software. 

Cart m: #347-#4S9 (Jul ’89-Jun ’90) 
Cart #3: lV460-4'554 (Jul ’90-Apr ’91) 
Cart #4; $555-41639 (May ’91-Dec ’91) 
Cart 4f6:4649-#709 (Feb ’91-Jul ’92) 
also available 

Cart 42: The Spectre Collection 

Cart 45: DTP (2000-F clip art, fonts, -h) 

Order disks from CN Library, 122 N 
Johonson Rd, Sterling VA 20164. 
MasterCard and VISA accepted 
(703) 450-4761. 

Page 34 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

Atari Classics on the Way 

A^tu/ 8—Hit Hi—monthly M&y&yno ^ot /Jtccti 8—Hit Hitts/ 

My name is Ben Poehland, and 
I’m pleased to announce that I shall 
be serving as Managing Editor of 
Atari Classics (AC), a new maga¬ 
zine exclusively devoted to the 
Atari 8-bit user. 

The philosophical orientation 
of AC incorporated in its Mani 
fest is to be a magazine “of, by, and 
for the Atari 8-bit user.” Unlike 
previous 8-bit periodicals, the con¬ 
tent of AC will directly reflect the 
expressed desires of the user com¬ 
munity, especially as recorded dur¬ 
ing the Mail-In Campaign con¬ 
ducted January 15-May 2, 1992. 
The magazine will be staffed by 
members of the user community, 
and its content will be drawn en¬ 
tirely from the user community. 

Unicorn Publications, already 
well-known for its outstanding 
Atari Interface Magazine, has 
agreed to provide publishing serv¬ 
ices for AC. AC and AIM, however, 
will be independent publications, 
and the addition of AC to 
Unicorn’s stable of products will 
not affect ATM’s present subscrib¬ 

This will be your magazine. 
AC will succeed, or fail, on the 
number of subscription orders it re¬ 
ceives. Although seed money to 
print the Premier Issue has been 
provided, the magazine will need 
500 paid subscriptions to succeed. 
A limited production run of 800 is¬ 
sues is scheduled for October or 
November 1992. Most of these will 
be distributed free of charge to the 
roughly 600 people who sent in 
commitment cards during the Mail 
Campaign. Of course, there were 
some folks who got missed in the 
Mail Campaign. So we ordered up 
extra copies that will also be dis¬ 
tributed for free. First come, first 
serve! You can write to: Atari Clas¬ 
sics, 179 Sproul Rd./Rt. 352, Frazer, 
PA 19355 USA. ATTN: B. Poeh¬ 
land, Managing Editor. I will add 
your name to the list for a free 

copy of the Premier Issue. (No 
guarantees, and be sure to include 
your postal mailing address!) 

The basic subscription fee is 
$25/year in the USA, with higher 
fees for Canadian and other non- 
US subscriptions. Full details on 
subscriptions will appear in the 
Premier issue. Beginning in 1993 

the magazine will be distributed bi¬ 
monthly (6 issues/year). 

A software disk bearing pro¬ 
grams published in AC plus se¬ 
lected offerings from the Public 
Domain, will be available sepa¬ 
rately for $9/year in the USA. Full 
details on disk subscriptions will 
also appear in the Premier Issue. 

And, look forward to a whole 
bunch of other stuff, contributed 
by some of the most talented writ¬ 
ers and hackers in the Atari 8-bit 

B D 10 B Q B B B B B 


Enter the 3-D Virtual Universe of Cyberdrome and 
battle CJER, the rogue Artificial Intelligence virus. 

Cyberdrome features the realism of a real-time 
flight simulator with arcade action plus the 
problem-solving and exploration of a dungeon type 
game. Single player or 2-player/2-computer mode 
using a serial cable or modems. Multiple mission 
levels plus a head-to-head competition mode 
makes each new Cyberdome adventure unique. 

1Mb RAM & 
Color Monitor 


Also available... new versions and features! 



PUZZLE PACK (includes both above) $49.95 


(^‘marvelous little programs... simple and elegant” - Atari Explorer^ 

Add $2 shipping & handling 
Check, money order, MasterCard or Visa 
Save money & the Environment! Deduct $2 
for our Enviro-pack (manual «& disk only) 

Stop by and see us at Glendale & WAACE! 

“No worries, mate... it's from Fair Dinkum" 

Post Office Box 2 
Los Alamos, NM 87544 USA 
(505) 662-7236 j 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 35 

Making IMeMbs With 
Outline Art 

by David Barkin 

What gives? All my books on desktop publishing 
tell me that the out putting of smooth fountains is not 
possible with a laser printer, yet here I am turning out 
incredibly complex designs whose heart lies in perfect 
gray scale fountains. A gray scale fountain, by the way, 
is the smooth transition between black to white (or a 
percentage of Black to white) from within a defined 
shape. My books even give me examples showing that 
at 300 DPI fountains are heavily banded. One has to go 
up to 1200 or even better 2400 DPI to eliminate this 
banding. Is my printer that good? The answer is em¬ 
bedded in that rather strange, complex, incomplete, 
buggy wonder of the Atari ST, Outline Art by ISD. 
One hopes that the reader is more or less familiar with 
the many conventional features of Outline, because 
like last month’s tutorial, this is taken for granted. 

This wonderful program’s greatest limitation is 
the exclusiveness of its output files, which left its use 
more or less limited to the owners of Calamus, but 
this is no longer the case. Arabesque Professional, 
among other programs, can now load and or output 
.CVG files, which is the native export format of Out¬ 
line. Although the internal format of Outline is .OL it 
also easily imports its own .CVG files as well. This 
means that anything created in Outline can not only 
be imported into other Atari programs but can be 
used on other computer platforms. This is aside from 
the fact that Outline also comes with a separate con¬ 
version program to transform its .CVG flies into EPS 
and PS standards. This tutorial is going to explain how 
to use those powerful features of Outline, which nei¬ 
ther the manual nor ISDs own “Guide to Desktop 
Publishing” go into. 

One day my Postscript programming friend, 
Gregg, came over to my house to show me some of 
his creations from within Postscript (in this case Ul¬ 
trascript, the Atari Postscript clone). To my surprise 
and education, here were drawings created by a pro¬ 
gramming language itself. They were beautiful. 
Smooth, grayscales in odd shapes, spiral patterns, all 
sorts of odd and beautiful creations. These were pre¬ 
sented to me as Gregg’s subtle attempt to get me to 
take up the process of learning Postscript. He knew 
about my fascination with Outline and he showed me 
these concqitions because he knew they couldn’t be 
done in Outline! 

Well this was a challenge that could not be ig¬ 
nored. Almost certainly I would lose; but nonetheless I 

would accept. I’ve accepted many such challenges and 
more often then not would eventually accept failure. 
The attempt to add a monitor to my calculator, the in¬ 
stallation of a hard drive in my 67 Dart, the fiasco of 
upgrading my dogs memory past the 128K barrier. An 
act by the way, whose consequences, I among others 
feel to this day. I was used to failure, but, in this one 
case, I succeeded with a vengeance. 

Up until then my idea of using Outline for the cre¬ 
ation of grayscales was to use the grayscale icon and 
simply draw the usual rectangle, define the percentage 
of black to gray and, if necessary, use the control grid 
option to force the grayscale into a particular shape. 
The problems with this approach were twofold. One, 
it’s difficult and cumbersome to create a control path 
to handle these grayscales and, two, they didn’t print 
out that smooth anyway. I had been using this icon, 
following the manual’s recommendation to get a me- 

In figure 1 is the provorbial starting part, which, by figure 2, 
is transformed into my first fountain. 

tallic effect by placing the grayscales behind other ob¬ 
jects which were invisible except for portions cut out 
to allow the gray to show. This is great for metallic let¬ 
tering and other effects but it didn’t come close to 
matching Gregg’s designs. 

What to do? The calculator! Yes, 1 would use the 
calculator to copy the grayscales after putting them 
onto a control grid. After creating a very rough look¬ 
ing circle out of my grayscale, I told the calculator, to 
reduce the selected points (in this case “all points”) by 
10 percent. Then, going to the “clipboard special op¬ 
tions menu,” I set the “change grayscale option” to -5 
percent (to set a minus value you must backspace to 
the end and then type in the minus sign followed by 
the value). The result looks like a pile of melting cir¬ 
cles of ice-cream or soggy doughnuts. Interesting, but 
no cigar. But I was on the right track. 

Page 36 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 37 

In figures 1 and 2 we have the first success. I sim¬ 
ply created a black square, no outline, and setting the 
calculator to reduce the object by percentage, 97 per- 

the multiple copy options. 

cent, horizontally and vertically. Then, using the clip¬ 
board extra functions and setting the grayscale change 
to -3 percent, I hit the copy icon and, presto, figure 2. 
But this, as it turns out, is the tip of the iceberg. Before 
continuing lets take the creation of figure 2 step by 
step because all the other effects depend on this. 

1) Create a square using the “create object path” 
option and in the dialogue box set the gray value to 
100 percent and no line. 

2) Set the clipboard special effects dialogue box as 
is shown in figure 3. The impor¬ 
tant part of this dialogue box 
are the settings next to the cam¬ 
era icon, the other options we 
can ignore except you should 
also set “Prompt « of copies” 
and “Extra functions active” to 

3) Next, go to the calcula¬ 
tor (figure 4.). In this case, don’t 
use the option of “All Points” 
since we are only working with 
one object. The default setting is 
selected points. Click on the 
“Enlarge %,” then go up to the 
dialogue and type in 97 percent 
for both vertical and horizontal. 

At this point select “Object Mid- 
dl.” Hit Cancel, not Calculate. 

This is because the clipboard extra functions is linked 
internally to the calculator and follows the instruc¬ 
tions of the calculator according to how you set it up. 
If you hit Calculate, the calculator will act at once on 
the selected points. 

4) Finally, go to the copy icon and, at the prompt, 
type in 33 for the number of copies. After a brief cal¬ 
culation, presto! As a last action, I changed the last 
object to 0 percent gray value. 

Now the fun part begins, because the possibilities 
are endless. What if instead of typing in 33 for multi¬ 
ple copies, you hit IS and then in the calculator 
change from object middle to object up and to the 
right, then hit 18 for multiple copy? What if you 
change the horizontal to 95 while leaving vertical 
alone? What if you change the gray scale value? 
What about after making your first object, you go 
back and change grayscale to -+-3? How about chang¬ 
ing a piece of text to a vector object and doing this 
process on it? If an irregular shape, how about taking 
a break from the copy aspect and rotate the object a 
few degrees and resume copying? In the large 
illustration on page 37, you will find my answer to 
my friend Greggs postscript art. None of these ob¬ 
jects took more than five minutes to create once I got 
the hang of it. I even included by pile of soggy 

Before I leave you this month, I just would like to 
give a few pointers and warnings. This version of 
Outline is limited to lOOK. These multiple copy ob¬ 
jects eat memory like you wouldn’t believe. This is 
partially dependant on the number of points in each 
object. Furthermore, once you get up to 50 layers, be¬ 
lieve me, you don’t want to go back and start hunting 
to change just one layer. It’s much easier to reload 
one of your previously saved versions and start over. 

'= D+(X-0)*fl/10a 

Hidth Z = 97_ 
Height x = 97 , 


ll : 1 Load 



iroT«ui! 1. nrg | 


ifOTme »f 

tl4l IMTS 1 

44 HIKPOP 1 

MIMl . II 

irNLACoc nim. | 

«>>- MlirwcMP 1 

T(t II 

■ NLPfrOB X 1 

KUl-i. 1 

iTtaicit II 


OLOfti: 1 

CMET |j 

evt rNc«:iL 1 



Constant X= HagelX. 

Constant Y= NagelY 






cereceNce pin 

K UUS 4 S ;e t :uio »i 4 

SCITE ■* t 

X a-Ciiwr P^^.iriOM 
V p-oiMT p^iP.rrxciN 


NPCiffl X^NNC<« l V •« PIN PC>9-J'riC<N 


4 - M ✓ ,C»l2.‘-:4 -4 OTHrit rCAHUtiNff I lirCNTS:! 
I > PI civg-i* 

Figure 4 . The calculator and some of the settings used to create figure 2. 

Page 38 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

Montreal's 350th 

1 c 


4 ^ 



September 19-20,1992 « 

Sat. & Sun.. 10 A.M. to 5 RM. 

at the Monkland Centre, in N.D.G. 

4410 West Hill Avenue 
Montreal. Quebec. Canada 

Door Prizes. Product Demos. Music. DTP and Full. 8/16/32-Bit Coverage! 
ADMISSION; $4.00/day. Children, under age 12. admitted free. 

FAME is a joint effort of 3 Montreal-area users’ groups: 





For Exhibitor/Visitor 
Info-Kits, write: 

c/o K. Carter-Morgan 
R O. Box 966. Stn. B 
Montreal. PQ Canada 
H3B 3K5 

Voice Lines; 


Terry (514) 

Taxis must enter West Hill from Monkland Ave. 

MUC Transit directions are: Obtain a free bus 
transfer, from machine in the Metro station, at 
origin of trip. From Villa-Maria Metro, take the 
“162 bus west, to Madison, and walk (continue 
west) 1 block to West Hill. Turn right and walk 
to back of circle for entrance. You’ve made it! 

Hotels and other 
are convenient¬ 
ly close to our 

join us. 

Also Outline starts to slow down once you reach about 
50K. The solution is as follows. When an .OL file is 
saved, when recalled or merged, it returns to the exact 
same spot it was saved from. Also, no matter how 
complex when recalled, it comes back with all points 

Plan your design ahead. Save often, giving your 
objects clear names so that you don’t get confused. If 
files really get out of hand (see page 37), then save 
them separately and reassemble them in your publish¬ 
ing program. 

One little note here is that Calamus 1.09N has a 
minor bug where .CVG files appear to be transparent 
but they are actually opaque and print out opaque. 
Don’t let this confuse you. SL fixes this tittle bug. 

Two last observations. My printer is the HP 111 and 
I’m quite pleased with the output, but my old printer 
was the HP Desk-Jet and the results were much better! 
Probably because the real ink of the Desk-Jet smears 
just enough to make each fountain perfect. Besides 
that, with the Desk Jet the images seemed to glow. 

For best results set the Calamus printer dialogue 
to “Raster x 1.” The other point is that Calamus SCs 

vector module fixes two of Outlines main weaknesses, 
the inability to set each line to a different weight and 
the inability to group frames together. 

Next month, we will explore shortening the learn¬ 
ing curve in Calamus and Calamus SL. Personally, I’m 
tired of hearing about how confusing the icon inter¬ 
face of Calamus is. The primary fault for this miscon¬ 
ception lies with ISD themselves for not explaining 
that the icons are simply a learning aid. Both beginn¬ 
ers and perhaps some long-term users will be pleas¬ 
antly surprised. 

In case anyone is wondering whether the author of 
this article is suffering from delusions of grandeur - 
The answer is yes! Outline Touche was created both to 
impress my friend Gregg and to win the Outline Art 
Contest. It has since then been pointed out to me on 
occasions too numerous to mention that the above 
drawing is just magnificent, but is it Art? Since I did¬ 
n’t win the contest, not even an honorary mention I 
am forced to conclude that the judges were heavily 
bribed by the unscrupulous competition. They will be 
hearing from my attorney. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 39 


7 Come Sse the Nation's Largest Atari Deatoi*! 

Don’t be daunted by the drive to 
Washington! We really want you 
to come to the WAACE Atarifest 
on October 10 and 11! And to 
prove it, we’re promising to make 
it worthwhile! 

You see, this summer, we went 
from being “Toad Computers: 
Atari Store and Friendly Place’’ to 
being ‘Toad Computers: The Atari 
Superstore (and friendly place)!” 

How did this happen? Little 
green pills? A princess kissed our 
old store? No - it came with lots of 
hard work. 

To show that we’re using our 
new-found powers only for the 
forces of good, we’re holding what 
we caU “'Hie F^t before The Fest” 

“What is this beast?,” I hear you 
mumble. Well, it’s a time when 
Atari users can visit the country’s 
largest Atari dealer, take advantage 
of a vast pre-fest selection (at 
Atarifest prices), and participate in 
classes, seminars (even one with 
Dave Small), and dem<xistrations. 

And you get to see a real, 
modern, tangible and palpable 
Atari store. And not just an Atari 

store - an Atari Superstore. That 
means huge selection, the best 
prices and outstanding service - 
every time you visit 

So on Thursday October 8 and 
on Friday October 9, be at Toad 
Computers’ new location at 570F 
Ritchie Highway in scenic Sevema 
Park, Maryland. Admissicm is free. 
We’re not far firom anywhere, and 
we promise you, it’ll be well worth 
your time. 

Check the directions below, and 
if you have any questions, feel free 
to call! 

Directions to The Nation's First and Only Atari Superstore 

From Baltimore (25-35 
minutes): Take 1-695 
(Baltimore Beltway) south 
to MD 10. Take MD 10 
south to MD 2 south. After 
about three miles and very 
shortly after intersection 
with MD 648, turn right into 
Park Plaza shopping center. 
We’re next to WeeCare. 

From Annapolis (10-15 
minutes): Take US 50 east 
towards Bay Bridge, over 
Severn River bridge. 
Immediately (!) after Severn 
River bridge, exit onto MD 2 
north. After about 6 miles, 
turn left at light at McKinsey 
Rd. Turn right immediately 
into Park Plaza center. 

From Washington DC, MD 
Suburbs, Northern VA (40 - 
60 minutes): Get to east side 
of Capital Beltway. Take US 
50 east to Annapolis. Follow 
directions from Annapolis. 

If you need further 
directions, feel free to call 
and act confused. 


Dave Small, 
Tim Reyes, 

Tom Harker! 
Way Cool! 

Where: Toad Computers 

570F Ritchie Highway 
Severna Park, MD 21146 
When: Thursday, October 8,1992 
8:00 AM - 10:00 PM 
Friday, October 9,1992 
8:00 AM-5:00 PM 

Where: Sheraton Inn 

Reston,VA 22091 
When: Saturday, October 10,1992 
Sunday, ^tober 11,1992 
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM (both days) 
CaU: (703) 629-6734, Charles Hoffmann 


PageStream 22 
PagaStraam OMidorms 
PagaAsstetarrt Helper 
PagaStraam Plus Pack 
Catamus Outline Art 
Calamus Font Editor 
Calamus Guide to DTP 
Calamus Font Guide 
CalAssIftant (Helper) 












Timaworfcs Publisher 2 
Com poScf Ipt (NEWI) 
Font Designer Plus 
Font Designer 
Genus Font Edhor 
SUhouatte (Newest Ver.) 
Arabesque Prolessionai 
Convector Prolessional 
image Cat 












DTPaInt Accessory 
Avant Vector 
MegaPaint Prolessionai 
Pilntmasler Plus 
Word Search Creator 
First Graph 
Word Quest II 












MVG Graphics Viewer 
Mgrai^ OCR Software 





liugShotDa!aDi8k1or2 $29 

Logo library 
G ban (New Version) 
Tfars Write 
Writs On 
WordPerfect ST 





WP Switch 
WofdUp (Version 3) 
Ultimats Virus Kiier 
1st Word Plus (Ver. 32) 
CaMgrapher Light 
Steno 2 (Acc^soiy Edhor) 
EdHak (Accessory Edtor) 
Suddenview Student 
















Grammar Expert 
LOW Power 
Tamplldty LOW Templates $28 
30 Calc (Mchtron) $39 

Megacheck Financial $39 

Phaser 4.0 $59 

TaxWizard $39 





Tracker ST 
Warp 9 Accelerator 
Codehead Utilities 
Multidesk Deluxe 
Codskeys Macros 
Hotwire Plus 
Mailing Manager ST 













ICD. Inc.’s latest entry into the 
Atari marke^lace is The Link, a 
SCSI host adapter with a distinct 
advantage. It's ext^nal 

The Link will allow the use of all 
external SCSI disk systems, 
including CD-ROM units. 
Floptical drives, and all hard 
drive systems made for the Atari 
Falcon and TT030. It converts 
ACSI 10 true SCSI. 

We at Toad Computers saw the 
impoftr^ of bringing you th^ 
revolutionary products first - at 

prices that can make you the first 
to own them! 

At the DUsseldorf Atari Messe, 
the world’s largest Atari show, 
we introduced our Stealth hard 
drive subsystems. T hey ’re 
designed with the Fakon, Tt030, 
Macintosh (and The Link) in 
mind. Stealth is small, black, 
portable, and sexy. You’ll sec 
much more about them very 

The Unk, combined with our 
Stealth, CD-ROM, and Floptical 

Have Some Fun! 

syste^. gives the ST/STE a new 
in mass storage. 

The Atari TT030 and Falcon 
need no interface to use these 
drives (because they have a true 
SCSI port), but now every SCSI 
drive can be used on any Atari 

Check out our great new deals on 
CD-ROM, flt^cal, and Stea^ 
drive systems - get one while 
they’re hot! Or, get a Link and 
become well-connected! Either 
way, you’ll k>vc the new options! 



JUST $89.99 

Gtgd fat a tiiM fro - Void Mim lYoMaMil 



Ihe sleekest, smoilest, im^-monitor hard 
diive system. Rxi onl veiy sophistKotei 
TT030, Falcon, Moc compotible. LINK 
required for ST, SIE. Avoilable in October. 
Fnce you order now. $ 119.99 


S(5ICM0M, Audio Drive $489 

iMmd sysMR b «iA powv 

Font FunHouse CD4(0M $49 

CodaiK HuMnds fli Type (hi Fene f« 

Ate imlvdB AecinSosh 


IUMC, OHOM ()ite, Fori hid^ 

TK UM a leewd te «n M ST« SR (orepriifs. 

TTD30 & Fricm VMS emy iM diM vdiiorilM. 

SydMB CM WA IN fni CD's, rc lied odoidri i (ables. 

Complete ST Pockoge Fa 


Insite Petipherols I325VM 
21M8Flopticol Drive $599 

Inds 72 (X (te 1 . 44 AA 8 flopfite I# m 
Coodte aitiiid syriim n ome vrih poww 

21MB Diskette $35 

M) ngulorta 3.S'te « W up k 2IM aUdr I 
OMpR |w nega^ An 44M iwnoMfalil 



MicropfoseGolf $49 
Knightmare $42 

Ishar $45 

Dtsdples of Steel $39 
Lemmings $33 

Add More Lemmings $28 
A320AirtxjsNOWr $47 
Ultima VI $46 

SpaK»Shuttte $45 
Turtles II $37 

Knights of the Sky $45 
Populous 1MB $42 
BatlJeChess $41 
Hoyle’s Bk of Games $19 
Bookof(3ames2 $19 
Formula 1 Grand Prix $41 
The Black Cauldron $19 
STOS $39 

STOS Compiler $29 
STOS 3D $41 


Under 10 Years Young: 
Funschool2 $29 

Funschool3or4 $39 

(Specify ChM’! 



For Kids of All Ages; 
ADI Math (11-14) 
ADI English (11-14) 
ADI French (12-14) 
Pepe's Garden 
Magic Storybook 
(aeneral Store 
The Black Cauldron 
Math Blaster 













Portloto Products _ 

Portfolio Computer $239 

Serial Interface $59 

Parallel Interface $39 

64KFlAMCafd $69 

32KRAMCard $59 

128K RAM Card $159 

Portfolio Book $14 

AC Adapter 
Terminal Plus 
Power Basic 
Instant Speller 








Modems & Related Items, 

Migraph Scanner $249 
WizwofksTRAYl $59 
Migraph TRAY! $119 
Img. Scanner $199 
ai.720K Drive $149 
Alpha Data Clock 
DMA Cable (3') 

DMA Cable (41 
PC Speed (ST€) 








GPA Basic 
Esteem Pilot 
Hisoft Power Basic 
Mark Williams C 
Lattice Cv.5 
Personal Pascal 
Hi-Speed Pascal 

Books on the Beach! 

Atari ST Book (#1) 














Atari ST Subjects (#2) $14 
Atari Advanced (#3) $14 
C-ManshipComiplete $29 
Assembly Language $29 
GFA Basic Gu^ $3 
Basic to C $18 

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Connecting Your 

School’s in Session 

I’m typing this in Los Angeles, the recent capital 
for epicenters and burned out shopping centers. By the 
time you read this column, however. I’ll be in Alaba¬ 
ma at a ten-month Air Force intermediate service 
school. This summer, I moved my family to the Los 
Angeles area in anticipation of a follow-on assignment 
here. (My wife is pregnant with twins which are due 
shortly. Two moves in a ten month period with tiny 
babies or babies to be would be an even greater bur¬ 
den.) Most of next month’s column will be prepared 
in Colorado Springs. Nothing like a roving reporter. 

How Can I Do This? 

With my ever-so-portable 130XE. The key is that 
I don’t need to carry around a special monitor. I just 
plug into the nearest television set and I’m ready to 
rock ’n’ roll. The computer, MIO, hard drive and mo¬ 
dem also fit nicely amongst my clothes in the suitcase. 
Let’s see an MS-DOS person try that! I also stay con¬ 
nected through my modem on the various telecommu¬ 
nications services to get the latest poop and to stay on 
top of things. 

Anyway, my new address is at the end of the col¬ 
umn and any mail sent to the old addresses (Colorado 
Springs or Los Angeles) will catch up with me. You 
can always find me on GEnie or CompuServe. 

Elsewhere in This Issue 

This month, a new face, Paul Summit, joins us 
with an informative article on video and film produc¬ 
tion planning using your 8-bit teamed with SynCalc. 
Paul knows what he is talking about. Paul bought his 
first Atari in 1985. He is currently the instructor of 
broadcasting at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, 
Missouri. Paul began working in broadcast television 
in 1974 and has worked in both commercial and non¬ 
commercial television. He holds a masters degree in 
mass communications from Arkansas State and has 
presented numerous professional papers on the media 
business. Paul is a CompuServe regular. 

Paul’s Syncalc article has motivated me to com¬ 
plete my latest Syncalc project, which calculates capital 
gains on multiple sales using first in/first out basis. 

Finally, Charles Cole (who must own stock in 
Computer Software Services) gives us an excellent 
overview of the Ultra Speed Plus Operating System. 

Coming Attractions 

Here is a peek at what’s ahead in terms of 8-bit 
coverage in CN. I still have a few articles left over 
from the previous editor. A number of projects are still 
in work or under negotiation. I need writers to volun¬ 
teer for a couple of proposed articles or come up with 
their own ideas. 

Backlog Yet to Be Published: 


3 1/2” Drive Upgrade 
Disk Base 
Data Perfect 

In Work or Under Negotiation: 

TurboBasic Kit 
SpartaDOS Menu Help 
Mission Shark 

Disk Library Programs 

Capital Gains Template 
8-bit Model Railroading 
8-bit Overseas Market 
The Internet 
8-bit Security System 

Volunteer(s) Needed: 

Ansi Terminal Program 
130 XE Keyboard Replacement 
GEnie/CompuServe Comparison 

Topic of your personal choice 
^Special Assignments from the Editor* 

If you are interested in writing for Current Notes, 
please contact me at the mail or E-mail address at the 
end of this column. We’re always looking for a few 
good writers and reviewers. 

SpartaDOS X Cartridge Dialog 

Jeff McWilliams* sent me note on CompuServe 
from the Internet in response to Charles Cole’s Sparta¬ 
DOS X cartridge article in the June 92 issue of CN, 

Charles Cole 
Charles Cole 
Charles Cole 
Chris McCoy 

Chuck McBride 
John Sandgren 
Roger Meston 
Roger Meston 
Roger Meston 
Rick Reaser 
Rick Reaser 
Decker McAllister 
Steve Hoffee 
Oscar Fowler 
Damond Walker 

Page 42 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

“Solving the SpartaDOS X Incompatibility Hassle-- 
Adding On/Off Toggle switches to the SpartaDOS X 
Cartridge.” I relayed Jeff’s thoughts to Charles on GE- 
nie and after a few iterations, here is a digest of the di* 
alog which spanned three information services. 

Jeff proposed an alternative to the modification. 
While in the SpartaDOS X (SDX) environment, you 
can type in the COLD /CN command with the Atari- 
Writer Plus disk in the boot drive. This will allow 
AtariWrher Plus to boot without SDX getting in the 
way. When you want to get back to SDX, do a cold 
start with a disk in the boot drive that has X32D.DOS, 
CONFIG.SYS, XON.COM and your related support 
files for SDX on it. SpartaDOS 3.2D will come up be¬ 
cause the SDX cartridge is still turned off. Run 
XON.COM from the command line and the system 
will reboot with the SDX cartridge turned on. 

Charles responds that Jeff’s route will work just 
fine, but points out that his own cure eliminates all of 
the disk swapping and additional command typing. 
His aim was to come up with a cure-all for all pro¬ 
grams that are incompatible with the SDX, not just 
AtariWrher Plus, “Why do all that disk swapping 
when you can just flip two toggle switches?” 


I have received a number of requests for the near¬ 
est FidoNet node. As of this writing. I’ve answered all 
the requests I’ve received so far, be it by regular mail, 
GEnie, CompuServe or the Internet. Be sure to include 
your area code with your request. 1 don’t know how 
many ST owners read this column, but I’m willing to 
find the Nodes in their area codes as well. 

Some of you are probably wondering how 1 get the 
lists of Bulletin Board System (BBSs) or Nodes that 
support FidoNet. James Young, who runs the 221B 
Baker Street BBS in Panama City, FL has been helping 
me out with that. 1 came across James while trying to 
track down the FidoNet Atari 8-bit Echo Moderator. 
James doesn’t own an Atari, but carries the echo on 
his BBS. Anyway, Jim has an on-line search program 
that can search through the 3-4 Megs (!) of FidoNet 
Node List that I use to put together the list 1 send to re¬ 
questors. Thanks to James for all his support James 
also helped me locate my local FidoNet nodes while 
I’m here in Southern California. Now I’ve found a lo¬ 
cal BBS with essentially the same capability. Just to 
impress you with numbers. There are 46 BBSs here in 
the South Bay, within my toll free calling radius, that 
support FidoNet. FidoNet is BIG! 

Larry Black, also in Panama City, FL is the Atari 
8-bit Echo Moderator. Larry runs the BEJUE BBS (Fi¬ 
doNet Node 1:3208/121) on an IBM PC (in 40 col¬ 
umns, of course). Larry’s only phone is hooked to his 
BBS, so 1 learned quickly that the only way to get to 
him was through computer. He still loves Atari and 
reading the 8-bit echo. When the FidoNet Echo gurus 

were considering shutting down the echo last year, 
Larry stepped in and volunteered to be the moderator. 
As moderator, Larry makes sure that things stay 
“clean” and such. He also provides the echo rules to 
the Echo List Moderator as well as the current paths 
and supporting nodes. 

Larry informs me that there are only 13 nodes or 
BBSs that carry the 8-bit echo. The echo is officially 
called the “Atari Echo.” There is also an “Atari ST 
Echo,” which broke off when the ST was introduced. 
Larry is compiling a list of the BBSs that carry the 8- 
bit echo followed by the current node path so you can 
help your local FidoNet SysOp figure a way to connect 
to the echo. This will be in the October CN. 

To get the Atari 8-bit echo on your local FidoNet 
Node, you need to convince the SysOp to carry it. The 
echo should be available at all FidoNet Hubs, since 
they are normally part of the FidoNet backbone, 
which carries all FidoNet message traffic. It may also 
be possible to get the SysOp to hook into the current 
path. My local Atari user group BBS in Colorado 
Springs had no problem getting the echo into our BBS, 
which was run on an ST. 


Much of the following information was derived 
from the “Frequently Asked Questions” file on Usenet 
maintained by Michael Current. 

Usenet is another one of those computer networks 
where subscribers can send messages and files to each 
other. Usenet supports many “newsgroups” for sub¬ 
scribers with common interests and problems. A news- 
group is similar to a message base on your local BBS. 
We Atari Classic owners have our own Usenet news- 
group called comp.sys.atari.8bit. The Usenet 
comp.sys.atari.8bit newsgroup is dedicated to the free 
exchange of information pertaining to the 8-bit Atari 
computers: the 400, 800, 1200XL, 600XL, 800XL, 
65XE, 130XE, and the XE Game System. Users of 
Atari TT, STe, ST, Portfolio, Lynx, 7800, 2600, or 
5200 have their own newsgroups on Usenet. 

You have been hearing me refer in recent issues to 
the lnfo-Atari8 Digest The Info-Atari8 Digest consists 
of postings to comp.sys.atari.8bit collected and e- 
mailed to subscribers on the Internet who do not have 
access to Usenet These digests are normally put on 
GEnie and CompuServe as well. 

The Internet also has its own files library called 
the atari.archive which Internet subscribers can access 
and download from using a File Transfer Protocol or 
FTP It is physically located at the University of Michi¬ 
gan and internet address is 
[See also “Atari Archives at the University of Michi¬ 
gan,” by Jeff Weiner, Current Notes, March 1992. -- 

As I said in an earlier column, it is possible to 
send e-mail to these Internet people through Com- 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 43 

puServe by prefacing the address with “>INTERNErr”. 
This way you can “answer” some of the messages that 
are part of the Info-Atari8 Digest. 

We hope to have a feature article here soon on the 
Internet to give you more details. Now we need to find 
someone to write about Usenet. 

Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG 

On July 20, the Central Atari Information Net¬ 
work (CAIN) introduced an expanded Atari 8-bit com¬ 
puter support area in their new and improved Cleve¬ 
land Free-Net Atari SIG. This Atari SIG is actually a 
computer based, on-line information system. It also 
supports all Atari platforms, so this may be of interest 
to ST, Portfolio and Lynx owners. 

With respect to Atari 8-bits, the SIG provides a 
number of unique features, including a Frequently- 
Asked Questions (FAQ) list, 8-Bit news and program¬ 
ming forum. The programming forum includes a re¬ 
source center where you will find code samples, help¬ 
ful hints, and the best PD development tools info; 
product summaries; product reviews; tips and tricks; 
lnfo-Atari8 Digest archive; and Z*Magazine archive. 
Message Areas and a large file area are also a part of 
the SIG. The file area is connected to the Internet’s 
Atari Archive, located at the University of Michigan. 
The Atari SIG also periodically takes advantage of the 
Free-Net’s conferencing ability to hold real-time, on¬ 
line Atari conferences. In addition, the Cleveland Free- 
Net provides Internet mail access, plus full access to 
Usenet, including the newsgroup comp.sys.atari.8bit. 

The Cleveland Free-Net is the primary system in 
the ever-expanding NPTN, the National Public Tele¬ 
computing Network. To access the Cleveland Free-Net 

(216) 368-3888 
300/1200/2400 bps 
Or from the Internet, 


When connected, you may either browse the sys¬ 
tem, or you may apply for your Cleveland Free-Net ac¬ 
count. Application is easy, and of course it’s free! Fi¬ 
nally, type “go atari”!!! 

For more information on the Cleveland Free-Net 
Atari SIG, contact: 

The Atari SIG 
m Box 364 
Mentor, OH 44061 

Internet users can use the Internet address: 

What’s New on GEnic? 

There has been a lot of activity in the GEnie li¬ 
braries since I last wrote. One of the SysOps, Chuck 
Steinman (DATAQUEl), has started to post ATASCII 
versions of “Atari Explorer Online” for those inter¬ 

ested. There is nothing really of 8-bit interest in those 
files. There is a lot of general Atari Corp stuff, but I 
just read Frank Sommer’s “ST Update” and the other 
coverage elsewhere here in CN for that. If you are a 
Trekkie, however, there is an excellent column by Wal¬ 
ter K. Wilbury entitled, “Star-Trek: Deep Space Nine.” 
Apparently, this is the follow-on to “Star-Trek: The 
Next Generation” and will premier in January 1993. 
Lot’s of good poop in here, if you’re into that stuff. 
See file 05940, AEO9209ARC. 

IBILLIG has posted a number of common games 
that some of you may or may not have seen on the 
Atari. My kids have been enjoying the monster con¬ 
centration game for the past few days. ANIMATSURI 
continues to provide numerous pictures in numerous 
formats for us to view. There are a couple of files re¬ 
lated to the Antic Sampling Processor now on line. 
Ray Wilmott has cross-posted his updated Atari 8-bit 
sources list to GEnie. A sample edition of the OI’ 
Hackers Atari User Group newsletter is also available. 
If you haven’t seen this disk-based publication, it is 
quite clever and well-done. 

Another new thing I’ve noticed on GEnie is that 
the command “BYE” now works while you are in the 
Mail Command mode and when you are in the Bulle¬ 
tin Board areas. Something that isn’t new is the last 
Roundtable News from the SysOps. The last item is 
dated October 19,1991!! 

What’s New on CompuServe? 

The bulk of new files on CompuServe (CIS) are 
primary cross-posts of the Info-Atari8 Digests from 
the Internet These digests haven’t been posted to GE¬ 
nie for quite sometime. BTW, a useful project for 
someone would be to digest the Digests. If you ever 
fall behind, it gets to be a lot of reading. There is a file 
on how to run your 8-bit from your car battery (Li¬ 
brary 17,Title: X12VDC.ARC). The best thing is an 
ANSI graphics terminal program for your Atari 8-bit, 
called AnsiTerm. It’s in Library 2, and named AN- 

AnsiTerm was written by Robert Sinclair. This 
new version now supports SpartaDOS 3.2 and now has 
the X-Modem protocol. In the docs, Robert bemoans 
the fact that only five people actually registered the 
previous version of the program for $15. Come on, 
people! I did a brief test of the program and it really 
works! ANSI Graphics are provi^d by many BBSs. If 
you ever wondered what you are missing, try this pro¬ 
gram. It displays in color 80 columns, which may be 
difficult for some to read. All in all, it is pretty neat 
Now, who wants to write a formal review of this pro¬ 
gram? Please contact me. 

Activity in the GIS message bases is still brisk 
with lots of SysOp, Bob Puff and Bob Wolley partici¬ 

Page 44 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

Computer Networking with Your Atari Qassic 

We’ve been talking a lot about computer networks 
lately in this column and we’ve only scratched the sur¬ 
face. Your Atari 8-bit doesn’t just talk to other 8-bits. 
It can talk to IBM PC’s as well as Crays—and they 
can’t tell the difference. It’s always fun to hear the re¬ 
action of the guy on the other end with the Sun work¬ 
station that you’re using an Atari with 64K. Computer 
networks as well as on-line computer services and bul¬ 
letin board systems open entirely new worlds to the 8- 
bitter. So get a modem and get connected. 

Ben Poehland provides us with the following leads 
for some books that go into a lot of depth with respect 
to computer networks. Even though they are fairly 
“new,” some of the information is a little dated. (1 
hour = 186,000 miles in the electronics world, remem¬ 
ber.) The technical library at your local College or 
University might have copies that you could peruse, 
prior to purchase. Your public library might be able to 
get them through interlibrary loan. (That’s the angle 
I’m working.) 

The Matrix; Computer Networks & Conferencing 

Systems Worldwide by John S. Quarterman. 719 pages 
with index (paperback) published 1990. ISBN: 

The User’s Directory of Compute r Networks by 
Tracey L. LaQuey (ed.) 630 pages (paperback) pub¬ 
lished 1990. ISBN: 1-55558-047-5. 

Ordering Information: Digital Press, Digital 
Equipment Corporation, EQ Box CS 2008, Nashua, 
New Hampshire 03061-2008. Order phone: 
1-800-344-4825, Monday-Friday 7:30 am - 8:00 pm 
ET. FAX orders: 1-800-234-2298, Monday-Friday 8:30 
am - 6:00 pm ET. BBS online catalog/or¬ 

ders: 1-800-234-1998,1200 or 9600, 7:00 am-midnight 
ET, 7 days a week. Catalog tt’s & prices: The Ma 
trix . ttEY-C176E-DE $49.95. User’s Directory. 
«EY-C200E-DI> $35.95. Prices & catalog »’s valid as 
of June 1, 1992. Prices include shipping. Major credit 
cards are accepted. Inquire about applicable discounts 
at time of order. (The Alchemist received a 5% dis¬ 
count upon grumbling at the high prices). You will 
have to pay applicable sales taxes for your state, which 
is automatically added to your account charge. 

Atari Classics (AC) 8-Bit Magazine Update 

Postcards from the AC mail-in campaign are still 
drifting in. Ben Poehland, “The Alchemist,” has spent 
the past several weeks arranging them in alphabetical 
order and reading every single one. Ben reports that 
the vast majority of comments on the cards were over¬ 
whelmingly positive. 

This past summer there has been discussion on 
the Internet and in Atari Interface Magazine (AIM) re¬ 
garding the AC effort and its relationship to the rest of 
the Atari community, especially ST owners. To set the 

record straight, the Alchemist provided his position on 

“The two communities should peacefully co-exist 
1 am adamant that AC will not be a platform for ST- 
bashing! Although the two communities have diverged 
more sharply in recent years, they still share a com¬ 
mon historical ancestry and, upon occasion, are still 
able to contribute to each other in minor ways on tech¬ 
nical issues. However, 1 do not feel that the 8-bit com¬ 
munity should be sacrificed just to keq) peace in the 

As for the structure of AC, it is shaping up as fol¬ 
lows. The AC Resource Editor will investigate new 
sources and publish a list of vendors/developers peri¬ 
odically in AC. There will be a “Swap ’N’ Shop” col¬ 
umn where people can place private advertisements. 
The ads will be free to paid subscribers (subject to cer¬ 
tain limitations which are still being worked out). 

The anticipated content of AC (though not carved 
in stone, and dependent on what authors submit) ac¬ 
cording to experience level is projected as follows: 

10% Beginner (plus a dedicated column) 
50% Intermediate 
40% Advanced 

Subject matter of coverage is currently projected 
this way: 

40% Hardware 
45% Software 
15% General Interest 

According to the interest cards received, there is 
also substantial interest in Public Domain (PD) soft¬ 
ware reviews, the PD market generally, utilities, appli¬ 
cations, educational programs, games, and program¬ 
ming tutorials. 

Circulation of AC’s Premier Issue, originally 
scheduled for SepL/Oct has now slipped to Nov./Dec. 
I personally hope to learn how we can do things 
through the Alchemist’s experiences and incorporate 
things appropriately here at CN. Additional informa¬ 
tion can be found on CIS, Library 7 in ACl.TXT. 
(There may be a AC2.TXT by the time you read this.) 

Best Electronics . 

Brad Koda of Best informs me that his outstand¬ 
ing catalog is still available. He also has an addenda 
with over 150 additional Atari Classic part numbers 
and products. Brad also noted that he had an outstand¬ 
ing keyboard replacement for the 130XE. Most of the 
sales have been overseas on this item. If someone has 
one of these key board replacements, we’d love to see 
a review of it here in CN. To get a copy of the Best cat¬ 
alog send $3.67 to: 

Best Electronics 

2021 The Alameda, Suite 290 

San Jose, CA 95126-1127 

(408) 243-6950 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 45 

TcxtPRO+ Version 5 Update 

There have been some additional delays in the 
TextPRO-h Version 5 release. Ronnie Riche tells me 
that programming for the Beta version is essentially 
complete. He has a few more tests to run. The next 
hurdle is to copy and mail out the disks to the 80 or so 
registered owners. 

Vlodci Railroading with Atari Classics 

While here in Los Angeles, 1 picked up a copy of 
MicroTymes and found an interesting notice in the us¬ 
er group section. It was for a group that uses Atari 8- 
bits in model railroading applications. Needless to say, 
I called and had a fascinating conversation with the 
group’s coordinator. 

The goal of the group is to use computers in the 
design of model railroads, control of their operations 
and to simulate model railroad systems. So far, they 
have developed hardware and software to control en¬ 
gine throttles through the joystick ports. They have 
simulation programs that help in the design and opera¬ 
tion of the model railroads. They also have developed 
programs that generate switch lists and timetables for 

Why are they using 8-bits? They are cheap, easy 
to program, easy to understand, small, flexible, pow¬ 
erful, etc. etc. (We all know that already.) Many of the 

programs are actually being ported from IBM systems 
onto the 8-bits. Their quarterly newsletter is done on a 
800XL with XDM121 printer. (The coordinator could¬ 
n’t say enough nice things about that printer. It’s a 

I hope to get an article from the group in a future 
CN issue. They aren’t fully integrated into the “nor¬ 
mal” 8-bit network and can use a lot of help (espe¬ 
cially in the SIO and FBI area). They also have a lot to 
offer as well, since their hardware and software 
projects are fairly documented. For further informa¬ 
tion, contact: 


Decker G. McAllister, Jr., Coordinator 

145 Surf Place 

Seal Beach, CA 90740-5905 

(310) 430-5433 

That’s it for this month. Write, call or E-mail your 
requests, questions or complaints to: 

Rick Reaser 

2427 D Meadow Ridge Lane 

Montgomery, AL 36117-4616 


CompuServe: 72130,2073 


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Page 46 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

The Ultimate Writing Machine. 

It’s been a long time coming, but world-class word processing has finally 
arrived for Atari computers! Calligrapher combines desktop publishing features 
(like scaleable fonts and built in graphics) with an intuitive, easy to learn word 
processing interface. The result is a uniquely powerful and infinitely flexible 
tool—the only writing tool you’ll ever need! 



P.O. Box 74090 Los Angeles, California 90004 
Tel 23-386-5735 Fax 23-386-5789 

Working Title US, a division of CodeHeod Technologies, is the official importer of all Working Title products. 

Contact us for details about our special offer to trode up from other word processors. 

PRODBID: The Video and Film 
Production Planner 

■0 ^^n3alc ‘Tamplate j^ot l/idto l^toduc^ti 
by Paul M. Summitt 

So you've been asked to videotape your best 
friend’s cousin’s brother-in-law’s daughter’s wedding. 
Congratulations. Now all you have to do is decide what 
you’re going to charge them. 


Sure. You are going to charge them for your time 
and effort, aren’t you? You’ve spent considerable time 
and money gathering the expertise and equipment to 
be able to put a video production together. So why 
shouldn’t you get paid for doing it, right? 

But, how much do you charge for doing it? If it 
was your best friend’s wedding you’d do it for free, 
wouldn’t you? You’d even consider doing it for free for 
your best friend’s cousin. But this is your best friend’s 
cousin’s brother-in-law’s daughter’s wedding. So pull 
out your trusty Atari 8-bit and load up your copy of 
SynCalc. Using the template PRODBID, you too can 
figure a budget for a video production. So let’s get to 

Getting Started 

I’ve used SynCalc software here for this template 
(or worksheet in SynCalc-ese) because SynCalc is still 
the most widely used Atari 8-bit spreadsheet that will 
perform the necessary calculations. But SynCalc isn’t 
the only spreadsheet that will do this. The original ver¬ 
sion of this template was written with SynCalc in 1985 
while I was working for the Arkansas Educational Tel¬ 
evision Network. 1 converted it for use with another 
Atari 8-bit spreadsheet program while at Arkansas 
State University in 1986. It was upgraded fw SynCalc 
while at Alderson-Broaddus College in 1988 as well as 
being converted for use with another computer operat¬ 
ing system’s spreadsheet program. While at Southeast 
Missouri State University during the 1989-1990 aca¬ 
demic term, I converted the template for use with two 
different spreadsheet programs for use with another 
computer’s operating system. 

The reason for explaning the history of this tem¬ 
plate is so that you’ll understand that even if you don’t 
have access to SynCalc, you can still use the same con¬ 
cept with the spreadsheet software you do have. Sim¬ 
ply take the information provided in accompanying 
PRODBID template description in Table 1 (pages 
50-52) and convert the formulas for use with your par¬ 
ticular spreadsheet program. 

If you want to use SynCalc and don’t have a copy, 
you may have a problem. SynCalc was sold by Broder- 

bund and is no longer available from them. There are, 
perhaps, some back copies still available. (Editor’s 
Note: B&C ComputerVisions, 2730 Scott Bl\d, Santa 
Clara, CA 95050, (408) 986-9960; still has copies of 
SynCalc available for $35.95;-RR) Even if you’ve 
never used SynCalc before, you should be able to work 
your way through the relatively well-written manual 
in a short time and learn enough to use this template. 
If you’re using SynCalc or some other spreadsheet 
software, please keep the manuals close by while using 

Why Prepare a VWeo Budget? 

The number of professionals whom I have worked 
with and number of students that I teach who attempt 
to produce a video or film production without first 
considering the costs involved never ceases to amaze 
me. Chances are that even if they complete their 
projects, the production is not as good as it might have 
been had they taken the time to perform the neces¬ 
sary pre-production planning. Many times the produc¬ 
tion is left incomplete due to lack of time, proper 
equipment, or funds. 

As stated in the PRODBID template, the purpose 
of PRODBID is to help in the pre-planning stages of a 
video or film production so as to anticipate production 
needs before they occur thereby allowing allocation of 
sufficient funds for the project. There are many 
sources of information about video and film budgeting 
that I would suggest you look at for more information. 
Two of the classic texts are Michael Wiese’s Film and 
Video Budgets , published by Michael Wiese Rim Pro¬ 
ductions, and S.A. Costa’s How to Prepare a Budget for 
Rim and Video Tape , published by Tab Books. Both 
are slightly dated, although Wiese does update his edi¬ 
tions from time to time. Both provide the basic infor¬ 
mation about budgeting. 

Spreadsheet Programs and Production Budgeting 

Spreadsheet programs are ideal for preparing film 
and video production budgets. You simply type in the 
personal data such as length of the production, 
whether a script, narrator, and special effects are re¬ 
quired, and other pertinent facts, and the customized 
formulas tell the spreadsheet how to compute the 
budget from your data. If you decide that you need to 
change some of the information, just go to the proper 
cell, type in the new information and press [START]. 

Page 48 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

The entire budget model will begin to recalculate. 

I designed this particular PRODBID template for 
use on a professional production using half inch VHS 
equipment. The individual charges for services are 
based on information from a variety of sources includ* 
ing The 1989 Writer’s Market and various personnel 
charges, which are dependant on the market that you 
are working in. You can change these charges to re¬ 
flect those charges applicable to your particular mar¬ 
ket size and more iq}-to-date rates. 

As consumable items such as video and audio tape 
change in price on a regular basis, you will also need 
to adjust those costs to reflect the actual price per tape 
that you are paying. The prices for special effects are 
based on 1989 prices at a post-production house in 
Memphis that 1 have worked with since 1985. You’ll 
need to adjust those costs to reflect the charges of 
post-production houses in your market. 

I could go into a long discussion of D-2 format 
and time-code editing at this point but this is not an 
article about production techniques. It is an article 
about using the Atari 8-bit for production budgeting 
using SynCalc. So let’s talk about making inputs to the 
PRODBID template. 

U.sing the PRODBID template 

You can download the template from Com¬ 
puServe, GEnie, or another BBS. (Editor’s Note: The 
template is available as PRDBID.SC on CompuServe in 
Library 5, Productivity S’Ware. As you know, Com¬ 
puServe only allows six characters before the extender. 
On GEnie, it is file number 5942, PRODBID.SC, in 
the Productivity Librar-y-RR) You’ll need to boot Syn¬ 
Calc before loading PRODBID.SC (or PRDBID.SC if 
you downloaded from CompuServe) as a worksheet 

For the purposes of this article. I’ll have to as¬ 
sume that you’re familiar with SynCalc, For instance, 
you should know how to move around the spreadsheet 
as well as how, in pressing [OPTION], to begin a com¬ 
mand sequence. 

Follow the directions in PRODBIDTXT and type 
in the information and formulas. If you’re using a dif¬ 
ferent spreadsheet program than SynCalc make sure 
you make the necessary conversions in the formulas. 
You’ll also want to entry protect the template/work¬ 
sheet from cell A91 through cell HI91. 

Special Notes 

This updated version of PRODBID was written on 
an Atari 800XL upgraded with the ICD Rambo XL 
and the Atari 1050 disk drive upgraded with the ICD 
US Doubler. The result is that the spreadsheet may be 
too large for a 48k or 64k machine. There are a vari¬ 
ety of tricks that you may use in typing the model in 
that will make more space available. One of them is 
eliminating the information in A1 through H51. I 
don’t really recommend this for a variety of reasons 

(one of them being my name is in this area). The in¬ 
formation here provides any user with background on 
the model that could be useful should problems arise. 

Go Forth and Videotape 

As mentioned earlier, pre-planning of a videotape 
production can save time and money. Plan out your 
production well using your Atari 8-bit computer and 
you won’t have the headaches you would otherwise. 
After you’re finished with the planning stages you can 
tell your clients exactly how much it will cost to pro¬ 
duce their videotape productions. 

(Editor’s Note: I sucessfully ran the template on a 
130XE with no memory problems. It also worked on 
my ancient, vanilla, 48K 800.1 didn’t need to consult 
the SynCalc manual at all once the template was 
loaded, since Syncalc has such an intuitive and self-ex¬ 
planatory user interface. I encourage you to look at the 
internals of Paul’s template. He uses some of the more 
advanced spreadsheet techniques available with Syn¬ 
Calc, such as the infamous “-IF THEN ELSE” func¬ 
tion, which is not included with VisiCalc. “-SUM,” 
which VisiCalc does support, is also present. —RR). 












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Program For Your Atari ST/TT 


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as 32,000 names per datafile, unlimited number of files. 

Ail these features and more for the 
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See your local Atari Dealer or contact us directly at: 
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(814) 455-1294 Call or write for free information package 









' Alan, TT.MEGA. and Staiy oic tcgiMCfcU iniJciivMkv ol Aim* Ci 

1992 POUCH SOPTWARb. All RisPj-. I’RICT. AND SPmi 

^orp.. Mailing Manaact St 


a inufenurk oTF'tNich Softtaarc. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 49 

Table 1. PRODBID Tenplate Description 


fl6i[Flush RlghtlNAME: 


A8:[Flush RightlDATE: 

AlOi[Flush RlghtlAUTHOR: 

AIZ:[Flush RightlDEPT: 



020 :- 

C2Bi — —— 

AZ1:Z4 JUNE 1990 

CZl:Sunnitt - Instructions S Data Input Area 
AZ5:The purpose of this nodel is to help in the 
pre-planning stages 

AZ6:of a video or filn production so as to an¬ 
ticipate production 

AZ7:needs before theg occur thereby alloHing al¬ 
location of sufficient 
AZ8:funds for the project. 

A3B:Directions for use: 

A3i:l. Load Spreadsheet Progran (this version 
Has HTitten for SVNCALC) 

A3Z:Z. Load PRODBID spreadsheet. 

A33:3. Enter inforaation requested in Section A 
of spreadsheet. 

A34:4. Save spreadsheet back to disk under nen 

A35:5. Print out Budget Proposal to your 


B37:Hiese, Michael. FILM t VIDEO BUDGETS. 
Mestport, Conn.: 

B38:Michael Hiese Filn Productions, 1984. 

B4B:FILM S VIDEO TAPE. Blue Ridge Sunnit, PA: 
Tab Books, 



B4Z:Nevison, John M. "The Ins of Spreadsheet 

B43:PC-COMPUTING. June 1990. pp. 9Z-1B5. 


B46:Introductlon: Title, description, contents. 
B47:Initial Data input. 

B48:Bid Proposal Print out 
A58;SECTION A: Initial Data Input 
A5Z:Directions: Ansner the folloHing questions. 

E54:[Entry Area for A54.1 


ESS:[Entry Area for ASS.] 


ES6:[Entry Area for AS6.] 


ES7:[Entry Area for AS7.] 


ES8:[Entry Area for AS8.1 


ESS:[Entry Area for A99.1 


EGO:[Entry Area for AGO.] 




EGZ:[Entry Area for AGZ.l 







AGG: Distance: 






AGS: Hunber of Musicians 






B7S:Copy infomation requested to cells E7G - 
E79, B84 and F84. 

B7G:Enter infomation requested to cells A8Z 
through A8S. 

B77:Copy inforaation requested to cells B84, 
BBS, S F8S. 

B78:Ready Printer and print ABO to HZZB. 

A8Z:(Your Conpany Nane) 

D8Z:Bid for: 

E8Z:/copy ES4 to this location 
A83:(Vour Address) 

E83:/copy ESS to this location 
A84:(Your City, State, Zip) 

E84:/copy ESG to this location 
A8S:(Your Phone) 

E8S:/copy ES7 to this location 

Page 50 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

(188iBid Date: 

888:/copy C16 
D88:Projected Length: 



089: Title: 

889:/copy E6B 
D89: Project Type: 

F89:/copy E6Z 

C91:[PRECISION 21 eiF Efi3sl THEN lt(F88)(8)/6B 
ELSE (F88«8)/60 

E91:Shooting Radio: 

691:[PRECISION 018 

C92: [PRECISION Z1 eiF E65=l THEN 
2t(((F88«G91)/6B)/B) ELSE BIF E65=Z THEN 
((F8iN(G91)/6B)/8 ELSE G 


2«((F88KG91)6B)/8 ELSE BIF E64:Z THEN 
((F88«G91)/6B)/8 ELSE B 

E93:Total Project Days 






098:0. Story 

055 :- 

BIBB:Concept S Script 
01B4:B. Talent 





FlBG:eiF F88>1 THEN SBN653KF88/6G ELSE SB 

0107* UfiRROTnR 

D1B7:[PRECSI0H 01 eiFE67rl THEN 1 ELSE B 

F1B7;[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 5kF 88 
G1B7:[F0RM0T $ PRECISION 21 DlB7)fFlB7 
G1B5:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 eSUH(GlB6:GlB7) 
H1B5:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 HlB3tGlB9 
0111;C. Production Personnel 
0112 :- 


D113:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 C92XE71 

F113:[FaRH0T $ PRECISION 21 10x8 
G113:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 D113XF113 
B114:Prod. Osst. 

D114:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 C5ZXE71 

F114:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 5x8 
G114:[F0RM0T $ PRECISION 21 D114XF114 
G116;[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 BSIM(6113:8114 
H117:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 HllB^Glie 
0119:0. Production Expenses 


BlZlicreM Heai 

cm:[PRECISION 81 eCHT(01B6:lB6)«eCNT(D113:D114) 

F1Z1:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 18XC121 
6121:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 DlZlxFlZl 
B12Z:Petty Cash 
0122:[PRECISION 21 C9ZXF88/6B 

F122:[F0R110T $ PRECISION 2125 

G122:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 D122XF122 


0123:[PRECISION 21 C9ZXF88/6B 


F1Z3:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 25 
G123:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 D1Z3XF1Z3 


FlZ4:[F0Rn0T $ PRECISION 21 B.25 
GlZ4:[F0Rn0T $ PRECISION 21 D1Z4XF1Z4 
B125:Nisc. Expenses 

E125:flat fee 

6125:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 D125XF125 
6127:[F0R110T $ PRECISION 21 GSUH(G1Z1;G125) 
H1Z8:[F0RH0T $ PRECISION 21 G127«H117 
(il3B:E. Video and Field Equipnent 




F132;[F0RHBT $ PRECISION 21 25 
G132;[F0RHAT $ PRECISION 21 D132XF13Z 
B133:Lighting Equipnent 



G133:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 D133XF133 

G135:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 GSUM(6132:6133) 

H136:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 G135tHlZ8 
A141:F. Video and Audio Tape Stock 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 51 


B143il/Z» VMS Haster 

E143:12B nln 

E143:[F0Rn0T $ PRECISION 21 5.84 

F143:[F0RN0T $ PRECISION 21 D143XF143 

8144:1/2" VHS Field 


eiNT((F88xG91)/12B) ELSE eiF(F88xG91)/12B<l<B 


E144:12B nin 

F144:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 5.84 
0144:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 D144XF144 
8145:1/4" audio cass. 

0145:[PRECISION 01 eiF E68=l THEN ((F88/6B)K3) 



F145:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 3.24 
0145:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 D145XF145 
0147:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 OSUM(0143:0145) 
H148:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 G147^H136 
A15B:G. Music and Audio Recording 



0152:[PRECISION 01 RIF E68=l THEN ((F88/60)K5) 


0152:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 0152XF152 


C153:[PRECISION 01 E69 

0153:[PRECISION 01 RIF Efi8=l THEN ((F88/6B)K5) 


0153:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 F153X01S3 


0154:[PRECISION 01 RIF E68=l THEN ((F88/6B)X3) 

0154:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 0154XF154 
0156:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 RSUH(G152:G154) 
H157:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 G156tH148 
A159:H. Video Editing 



0161:[PRECISION 01 C93 

0161:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 0161XF161 


E64=l THEN (F88xG91)/6B ELSE 0 


0162:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 0162XF162 


0163:[PRECISION 81 RIF E64=l THEN 0144 ELSE 8 

F163:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 135 
0163:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 0163XF163 
B164:0n-line Editing 

0164:[PRECISION 01 RIF E64=l THEN 1 ELSE 0 

F164:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 800 
0164: [FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 0164XF164 

0165:[PRECISION 01 RIF F88<0.99 THEN 0 ELSE 



0165:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 0165XF165 



0166:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 0166XF166 
0168:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 RSUM(G161:6166) 
H169:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 G168+H157 



0173:[PRECISION 21 093/(4.2x7) 


F173:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 150 
0173:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 F173X0173 

0174:[PRECISION 21 093/(4.2x7) 


0174:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 0174XF174 

0175:[PRECISION 21 093/(4.2x7) 


0175:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 0175XF175 
0176:[PRECISION 21 093/(4.2x7) 


0176:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 0176XF176 
0178:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 GSUM(0173:0176) 
H179:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 0178+8169 



H188:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 H187X8.B3 

H189:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21(H187+H188)XB.B1 

H19B:[FORMAT $ PRECISION 21 eSUH(187:H189) 

Page 52 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

feel the need... THE NEED FOR SPEED 

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The Ultra Speed Plus OS 

“Th^ 0jaet&tin^ -{itsxi Should ^atre SmtulUd 

by Charles A. Cole 

The Ultra Speed Plus Operating System {US+ 
05), developed by Bob Puff, is a replacement operat¬ 
ing system ROM chip for your Atari XL or XE com¬ 
puter. Through the flip of a 3-position toggle switch, it 
gives you three operating systems in one. You can 
choose between the 400/800 OS, the standard XL/ 
XE OS, or the US+ OS. The 400/800 and XL/XE 
systems are pretty mundane, but the US+ OS adds 
many new features to your Atari 8-bit computer. 

Basic Features 

When in the 400/800 mode, an XL or XE is 
completely compatible with older software, thereby 
negating the need for a translator disk. 

Another nice feature is reversal of the [OPTION] 
key function to disable BASIC. With this modifica¬ 
tion, holding down [OPTION] as you boot enables the 
built-in BASIC rather than disabling it. Since most 
commercial software has to run without BASIC 
present, this feature saves a lot of time normally spent 
holding down the [OPTION] key on XL or XE sys¬ 
tems. This key reversal is true for all three OSs con¬ 
tained in the new ROM chip. 

The center position, standard XL/XE OS, is used 
for those few pieces of software that refuse to boot on 
a modified system or drive, such as the AtariWriter+ 
disk version, Synfile+, Electronic Arts programs, and 
some Broderbund software titles. 

The UltraSpeed-i- Mode Difference 

The main features of the system, however, are in 
the US+ mode. Bob Puff has refined and modified the 
original Atari OS and created the system that Atari 
should have installed in the first place. The features of 
this new OS alone make the modification well worth 
its price. I have been using the US+ OS for the past 
couple of years, and have grown so used to having it 
that I have to learn some commands all over again 
when I switch to a computer that does not have US+. 

The first and most obvious difference is an im¬ 
proved screen clarity, because Mr. Puff changed the 
Atari’s default screen color from light to dark blue. 
This may not seem like a big deal, but once you get 
used to this improved color combination, a standard 
Atari system really hurts and tires your eyes! 

The second most important benefit to the US+ 
OS is faster disk reading and writing. An equivalent 
of the Happy OS has been programmed into the US-l; 

which turns any XF551 disk drive into a real speed de¬ 
mon. The documentation claims a three-fold speed in¬ 
crease with XFSSl and Happy drives. In combination 
with the 3-1/2 inch drive mc^ification sold by Com¬ 
puter Software Services (CSS) and its inproved 
XF551 ROM chip, and the SpartaDOS X cartridge’s 
High Speed Sector Skew, my XF551 now emits a 
high-pitched squeal instead of the usual clunk, clunk 
I/O sounds. These three modifications together must 
equal a 10-fold increase in read/write speeds. 

Other Features 

For those interested in expansion memory, the 
US+ OS offers the ability for one or two megabyte up¬ 
grades without having to disable your internal basic as 
you might have to do with other upgrade plans. In this 
area, I cheated a little and bought a modified 130XE 
offered by CSS that already had the US+ and a 320K 
RAM upgrade in it for $250, instead of trying to add 
my own memory modifications and possibly destroy¬ 
ing my 130XE in the process. After all, they are much 
more experienced at that sort of thing than I am, and 
I know it will work if they do the installation. This 
way, I still have my stock 130XE to fall back on if 
anything should happen to my “good” computer. 

If you don’t like Bob Puff’s choice of screen col¬ 
ors, you can easily change them from within the US+ 
OS. If you have young fingers around your house that 
like to play with your keyboard when you take a 
break, the US+ OS offers keyboard lock and screen 
blanking commands. This way, even if the kiddies do 
play Chopsticks on your keyboard, no harm is done to 
whatever program may be running at the time, and 
they will probably think the computer is not even 
turned on. 

The Atari 130XE’s self diagnostics test was im¬ 
proved to include all chips in the computer, both ROM 
and RAM, including any expansion memory you may 
have. If you think you might have a flaky chip, a 10 
minute run of this module will provide an instant 
readout of your entire computer’s innards. 

Do you do a lot of disk copying? The US+ OS in¬ 
cludes a built-in sector copier that sets up an internal 
RAMdisk for this purpose. You can copy a single-den¬ 
sity, 720-sector disk into this RAMdisk on a 130XE, 
and then copy from RAMdisk to another floppy. That 
can certainly be faster than Atari DOS’s 3 pass copier. 

Page 54 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

If you get tired of listening to your Atari’s disk 
read/write clunks, chirps, and other assorted noises, 
you can toggle this off from within the US-h OS in¬ 
stead of having to turn down the volume on your 
monitor or TV. 

The Atari screen defaults to a left margin of 2. If 
you are trying to read a 40-column text file on screen, 
this causes words to break and wrq) around on lines 
that are a full 40 characters long. A margin toggle re¬ 
sets the left margin to 0, giving you the full 40 col¬ 
umns for text. Re-toggling returns it to its normal set¬ 

A standard 130XE can sometimes be very frus¬ 
trating because of the time you must wait for the 
chips to discharge before you can reboot. The 130XE 
manual even warns you against restoring power too 
soon after turning the switch off. The US+ OS did en¬ 
tirely away with that by using chips that do not retain 
a charge. You can turn the power off and then back 
on again as fast as you want to without any adverse ef¬ 

A built-in drive configuration menu can be 
changed to your particular desires if you operate mul¬ 
tiple drives and RAMdisks. The default setting is for 
the 130XE’s internal RAMdisk to be drive tt4. You 
can even boot from the RAMdisk by redesignating it 
as drive ttl and copying DOS or any other program 
into it. You can even format your RAMdisk in either 
single or double density. 

If the cursor moves too slow to your liking, no 
sweat. You can increase its speed at will from a snail’s 
pace to near the speed of light. If you are running 
some software that also offers faster cursor move¬ 
ments, they will combine their effects to really zip 
around the screen. 

When using the internal RAMdisk, any power 
loss means instant data loss as well. What if a pro¬ 
gram causes your system to mysteriously lock up for 
some reason, and you have something in the 
RAMdisk that you don’t want to lose? With a standard 
OS, you have no choice but to turn off the power 
switch. With the US+ OS, you can do a RESET that 
will be the equivalent of a cold boot, but your 
RAMdisk contents are not lost because you do not 
have to turn the power off. In some cases, this feature 
alone may be worth the cost of the US+ OS. 

And lastly, the US+ OS offers an improved math 
package in its ROM (FASCHIP) that corrects some of 
the shortcomings of the Atari floating point routine. 
Since BASIC programs rely heavily on these calcula¬ 
tions, you will notice a definite speed improvement in 
BASIC execution. There will probably be some pro¬ 
grams that will run too fast under the US+ OS. The 
Software Automatic Mouth (^.A.M.) speech synthe¬ 
sizer from Don’t Ask Software, for example, may 
sound more like a soprano than a baritone, or talk too 

fast to be understood. Simply switching back to the 
Standard XL/XE OS will solve these problems. 


For the features offered by the US+ OS modifica¬ 
tion, you can’t go wrong. I have not encountered a sin¬ 
gle function that did not perform as advertised or even 
better than claimed. Bob Puff and CSS really deserve 
a gold star for developing this system—in fact, for all 
of their systems. In this age of shrinking Atari 8-bit 
support, CSS stands out as one of the best friends any 
Atari owner ever had. Get to know these people. You 
won’t be sorry that you did. They offer several prod¬ 
ucts for the 8-bit Atari, including repair service, that 
are top-notch. The US+ OS is only one of many CSS 
products that I have purchased over the years, and 1 
have never been disappointed by them. 

The Ultra Speed Plus Operating System {US+ 
OS) is available for $69.95 from: 

Computer Software Services 
R0.BOX 17660 
Rochester, NY 14617 

9 2 0 9 ? 

Does your mailing label have 9209 on the first line? 
If so, the 9th month of 1992, i.e. September, is your 
^last issue. Don’t miss any issues. Renew ASAP!! 

NEW! From the CN Library 
CN readers who have, and use, their modems can And on 
the national telecommunications services (CompuServe, Del¬ 
phi, GEnie) as well as local BBSs, up-to-the-minute Atari 
news, new product announcements, transcripts of online con¬ 
ferences with major Atari hardware and software vendors, and 
lots and lots of discussion (questions posed, and answered) 
relating to the Atari platforms. If you don’t have a modem and 
don't tap into this online world, or, find it relatively expensive 
to download files all the time, you are missing a whole facet of 
Atari computing. 

For just those readers, we have arranged to make available 
a new series of disks, ST Reports, which will each contain two 
months of the ST Report International Online Magazine. This 
weekly publication will often fill 50-1- pages when printed out 
and has a wealth of information for Atari owners. A double¬ 
sided disk, with two months of Reports on it, can result in 400 
or so pages. That is a lot of information. The months covered 
(all 1992) on each disk are indicated below: 

IfSRt January and February 

ltSR2 March and April 

#SR3 May and June 

/fSR4 July and August 

Disks are $4.00 each and can be ordered from the CN 
Library, 122 N Johnson Rd, Sterling, VA 20164. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 55 

TOS and DOS 

^o~~Jl^xiJtence -Ot Jlaitl 11 
by Michael D, Wolf 

My introduction to computers (four years ago) in¬ 
volved passionate dissertations by two close friends: 
one, a Mac Plus aficionadt^ the other, a DOS (4 mhz, 
8088 processor, HeadStart) fanatic. I knew that I just 
had to have a computer, but “which one” was the 
burning question. The performance and slick graphic 
user interface of the Mac heavily swayed me, but 1 
could not escape the lure of the DOS systems’ color 
capabilities and massive program library. Still, after 
eight months of intense bombardment from both 
camps, I hadn’t made a firm commitment. 

Then, just as an outrageous, uncontrollable urge to 
buy a computer was pulling me into the DOS camp, a 
third friend appeared and introduced me to the Atari 
1040ST. The decision was instantly made. After all, 
how could 1 pass up the 1040ST with its 8 mhz proces¬ 
sor, DOS-like color and Mac-like monochrome capa¬ 
bilities, graphic user interface, built-in MIDI and 
sound, a $500 cost savings, DOS and MAC emulation 
capabilities, etc, etc, etc? I couldn’t! And besides, the 
$500 savings certainly bought me a lot of nice soft¬ 

The 1040ST provided excellent service in word 
processing, games, and artistic applications and was 
eventually rqilaced by a four megabyte 1040STe. How¬ 
ever, the Atari world was shrinking almost as fast as 
the DOS market was growing. Still, like all loyal com¬ 
puter buffs, I passionately clung to the 1040STe and 
touted its merits to all who would listen (and bent the 
ears of a few who wouldn’t). But, alas, my office expo¬ 
sure with DOS systems continually exerted pressure to 
“conform to the norm.” 

To thwart the tide of DOS, 1 purchased emulators 
such as pc ditto, pc ditto II (hardware version) and, fi¬ 
nally, a Supercharger. Since this hybrid system would 
support all Atari resolutions as well as VGA, I sold my 
RGB monitor and purchased a ACER multi-sync 
monitor plus an Omni switch (the Omni switch allows 
switching from color to monochrome and provides the 
proper circuitry to use a multi-sync with the Atari). 
This gave me the capability of super VGA (should I 
“ever” get a DOS system), allowed me to use my Spec¬ 
tre GCR (MAC emulator), and enabled me to avoid 
the clutter of two Atari monitors. 

While this new set-up justified keeping the 
1040STe and provided an excellent entry into the world 
of DOS, the emulators just weren’t adequate to handle 

the types of work (on a consistent basis) that I was 
ccMitinually exposed to. And so, I took the plunge and 
purchased an eight megabyte, dual floppy, 205 meg 
hard-drive, CD-ROM equipped, 486 clone. 

To Sell or Not Sell 

Now, the dreaded question arose, “Should I sell the 
1040STe?” It isn’t as difficult a question as one might 
think. 1 simply examined my Atari system and 
quickly determined that 

1. I would take a financial beating if I sold it. 

2. Several pieces of software cannot be matched by 
the clone system in price/performance/ease of 

3. The clones do not have built-in MIDI capabilities 
(you have to spend approximately $500 extra to 
match the 1040ST/STe.) 

4. I’m a techno junkie and just want a dq^endable 
back-up machine (in the event that either system 

5. I have some software/games that are excellent 
and duplicating them in a DOS incarnation 
would prove very costly 

6. I would have to give up access to a multitude of 
Macintosh programs (run from the Spectre 

Two Computers, One Monitor 

So, now the question became, “How do I get both 
systems working together, simultaneously, on one 
monitor?” This took three months of searching cata¬ 
logs and phoning various dealers in pursuit of a moni¬ 
tor switch-box. I was repeatedly told, “no such box, to 
my knowledge, exists.” 

In frustration, I was about to attempt to build such 
a box when a catalog from JDR Microdevices ap¬ 
peared in my mailbox. In it, I found a switch-box that 
would handle sharing one monitor between two com¬ 
puters. I phoned JDR for advice and the technician ex¬ 
plained that the switch-box contained diodes which al¬ 
lowed switching from one computer to the other while 
all components were turned on! Having the solution at 
hand, I ordered the switch-box and two monitor cables 
(you need two additional cables, one for each compu¬ 
ter), for a total bill of $61.47, including shipping and 

Page 56 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 


The package arrived via UPS in six days and I 
hustled to the computers and eagerly went to work. In¬ 
stallation was painless: 

1. Connect the monitor cable to the switch-box in¬ 
put connector. 

2. Connect one cable to the switch-box “A” con¬ 
nects and the OMNI switch video input (OMNI 
switch output goes to Atari video input) 

3. Connect the remaining cable to the “B” connec¬ 
tor and the 486s’ video output. 

That’s it!!! Installation completed. 

Simultaneous TOS and DOS 

So, how does it work? Seam-Iessly!!! I simply boot¬ 
up both computer systems, and, at the flip of a switch, 
I can see my TOS or DOS application desktops. This is 
especially nice since I currently use Windows 3.J as 
my operating environment on the DOS machine. Win¬ 
dows allows me to point and click to run a program, 
much like the Atari system. Additionally, I can open 
and run multiple programs (over 20 simultaneously) in 
the Windows environment. 

Let’s say that I want to download files from a BBS, 
do some 3D art work rendering (both are time con¬ 
suming, automatic processes) and play Battle of Brit¬ 
ain. I start my DOS telecommunication program from 
Windows, sign on and begin downloading. I then 
switch to another window and open my 3D rendering 

program, load the Hie to be rendered and start the ren¬ 
dering process. I now have two self-running programs 
going in DOS. I flip the switch on the monitor switch- 
box and start Battle of Britain. It’s that simple!!! At any 
time, I can pause Battle of Britain, flip the switch, 
view the progress of either DOS program, and simply 
flip the switch to return to Battle of Britain. 

Needless to say, / like it!!! In addition to this, I can 
run DOS applications and MAC applications via the 
same process. But it is only because of the flexibility 
of the Atari system (in its ability to emulate a MAC 
via the Spectre OCR) that I am able to do so. The 
Ataris’ flexibility is quite amazing and unique among 

What It Takes 

(Parts, Prices and Who’s Got ’Em) 

If you’re thinking of a DOS system, here are the 

prices I paid (minus TOS and DOS computers): 

1 Acer Multi-Sync Monitor 


1 Omni Switch 


1 JDR Keyboard/VGA Switch-box 

(ordertt RSK 15-2WA) 


2 JDR VGA Monitor Cable 

(orderO CBL-HDB15-MM) 7.95ea 




JDR Microdevices 1-800-538-5000. Medionix Inc. (Ac¬ 
er monitor) 619-597-6000 (Omni switch.) 

A Few Words From Our Users 

, 7AASW.7a\5rtS\TeeX 
\ mC.VAV A0024 

\os ^nQe\es. CA 9AA5A 

^ature / 

\ \ str..- \ \ 
Xx cta.JIXN'egraa. A 

Some Unsolicited Comments About Tracker/ST v3.0. 

Every once in while we get a letter about Tracker/ST (our leading mailing 
lisl/mail merge program for the Atari), and we thought it would be nice to share 
some of the more recent comments with you, as sort of a break from our more 
traditional advertising. 

Hmmm, let’s see. Here’s one: “Wfe love the program. Also, the duplicate 
name warning system is a great idea.'* That one came from a minister in 
Evansville, Indiana. (We didn’t have the time to contact each of the writers for 
permission to use their names, so we’releaving their names out. But these are 
real comments from real people.) Someone in Point Roberts, Washington wrote 
to say, “Thank you for the really superb program. Keep up the good work. 

need as many people as possible creating programs for the Atari ST." 
When we sent out our upgrade notice for Tracker/ST v3.0, we received a 
wonderful letter from an antiques dealer in La Jolla, California: “YES!!! 1 am 
very pleased with the Tracker program...[and now] you have added more 
indispensable features. You are way ahead of me. I had planned to write to 
you with additional features that I need, [but] you did them before 1 knew 
they were possible...! am very plea.sed with Tracker. 1 will eagerly await the 
update!" Finally, a note on a recent registration card that came to us from 
Madrid, “I will need an Spanish u.ser manual." Sorry, but Tracker/ST is 
available only in English. 

So if you need a dynamite mailing list/mail merge program, check out 
Tracker/ST. Because, honestly, we need lots of new users to keep writing us 
these very nice letters. 

Step Ahead Software • 496-A Hudson Street, #F39 • New York, NY 10014 • 212-627-5830 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 57 


■di the (?ommandet ^aith ^Itij^ 3&ptute the iVotldl 

by James Parker 


In the Beginning... 

In the game Millennium 2.2, a gigantic asteroid 
had crashed into the Earth, destroying all human life 
in the cataclysm that followed. The only remnant of 
man was a small colony on the moon. From there 
your job was to somehow recolonize the Earth; but to 
do so, massive resources would be needed. Your scien¬ 
tists on Moon Base created specific human mutations 
that could live on other planets, in order to mine for 
resources. Eventually, Earth was restored, and Moon 
Base was abandoned. As time passed, man forgot 
about space flight and no contact was made with the 
outer colonies. Even Moon Base became a legend. 

1,000 Years Later 

Enter Deuteros. A thousand years have passed 
since then (the year is now 3100 AD), and the human 
race is just getting back into space. Just because things 
have been quiet on Earth doesn’t mean that it’s been 
that way in the rest of the solar system. The 
Methanoids and the Hydroids, the two races of mu¬ 
tants, have been at war. The Methanoids were the vic¬ 
tors and now share the solar system with one other 
species-us. After the war, the Methanoids were too 
busy mining beyond the asteroid belt and developing 
new technology to pay any attention to us humans. Be¬ 
sides, we hadn’t ventured out into space for over 1,000 
years. There had been no contact with Earth. 

You Are the Commander 

You are the newly appointed commander of Earth 
City, where all research and training of recruits takes 
place. Your first job will be to train research scientists, 
production technicians, and mariners on Earth, which 
is where all research and training must take place. 
Your research team leader starts out as a technician, 
but as he researches new items, his skill, speed and 
rank increase, through Doctor to Professor. To run the 
factories, you’ll need a production staff, and as you 
spread throughout the solar system, many production 
staffs. Your production leader starts as an Apprentice 
and progresses through Engineer to Expert as his skill 
increases. The Mariners are needed to run your space¬ 
craft. When you start, you’ll need a crew for every 
shuttle and ship. As your mariners gain experience, 
they will be promoted from Pilot to Captain, and then 
to Admiral. 

After you have trained your recruits, put your re¬ 
search team to work. You can’t build anything without 
researching it first, and when that’s done, you’ll need 
the raw materials to start construction. If you have the 
materials, then your production staff can start. The 
first thing you will want to build are several mining 
derricks, to improve your flow of minerals. Next, 
build a shuttle and eight orbital factory pieces and then 
you’ll be ready to assemble it in orbit All this is done 
with the mouse, and the only keyboard input is when 
you either name a ship or save a game. Your first or¬ 
bital factory is a stepping stone to the rest of the solar 
system, and beyond. 

As you train new recruits, build new gizmos, and 
balance mineral supplies, your mouse will get quite a 
workout. As your colonies grow, it can get hectic keep¬ 
ing up with everything. Luckily, there are devices you 
can produce that will automate many of the tedious 
jobs, and let you concentrate on the more important 
ones! As in Millennium 2.2, you don’t really have 
much of an idea of what to do at first, besides build an 
orbital factory from which to produce larger ships and 
devices. 1 don’t want to say too much, as most fun in 
the game is discovering what’s out there, and research¬ 
ing new gadgets as your technology increases. You will 
eventually meet the Methanoids, and it’s only then 
that you start to see the real plot. It’s a great game, and 
very addicting, but it does have a few bugs in it. 

Program Bugs 

If you try to do something the program isn’t 
ready.for, or expecting, the game will lock up and dis¬ 
play a series of letters and numbers across the screen. 
It’s probably a memory address or something where 
the error occurred. Another bug is that your mouse 
cursor will move to the lower right hand side of the 
screen and stay there. There is no way to get the 
mouse responsive again except to reboot Fortunately, 
you can save up to five games per disk, and if you 
save a lot, when the bugs do bite, it’s not as painful. 
The game comes on two copy protected disks, and 
will not run from a hard drive. A nice touch is that if 
you have two floppy drives, it will use the second 
drive for your save game disk. 

It’s Hard to Put Down 

It took me over 20 hours of play to complete the 
game, so be prepared to spend a lot of time in front of 

Page 58 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

your monitor. It’s hard to put it down, as you are al¬ 
ways wanting to coloni7.e one more planet, research 
the newest device, or build the newest spacecraft. It’s 
only when your mouse hand starts to cramp up that 
you realize you’ve been playing for five hours straight! 

Deuteros really gives you the feeling of “being 
there,” and although most screens are static, it fits the 
play of the game perfectly. Sound is limited to weird 
background type noises that also complement the 
game nicely 

If you liked Millennium 2.2 or Utopia, you’ll love 
Deuteros. Deuteros was tested on a Mega STe with 
TOS 2.05, so it should work with all earlier versions of 
TOS. It’s good to see software companies producing 
products that work on all ST’s! I’d also like to give Ku¬ 
dos to Rising Star Computers for testing the game on 
a Mega STe before mailing it to me. When you live 
where I do, it’s a major headache to buy a piece of 
software then wait two weeks to get it only to find out 
it won’t run on your system. Thanks again! Deuteros 
is by Activision Software and can be purchased for 
about $43. 

(Caution! Do not read any farther unless you want 
explicit hints!) 

Hints for the Commander 

When you attack an enemy factory, send an l.QS. 
fitted with a D.BC.C., but without enough fuel to make 
the journey To figure this, set the course, then read 
the E.T.A. Subtract the current time from the ET.A. 
and use less fuel than the difference. When you run 
out of fuel on the way disengage your engines and 
you’ll drift. Advance time until the display reads that 
you are falling. Select dock, advance time, and you’ll 
nnd yourself inside the factory Click on the PANIC 
button, and you’ll see a count down timer. Click on 
the levers to the right of the readout. The first time 
you do this, nothing will happen, and the factory will 
self destruct. You lose a ship, but you’ll be able to re¬ 
search the self destruct mechanism. The next time 
you dock at an enemy factory, you’ll be able to move 
the levers and deactivate the self destruct mechanism. 
Go to the store room and you should find a wealth of 
drones, and a nifty matter transmitter that you’ll be 
able to research and produce. This will work on all fac¬ 

Grab that Silver 

Silver is your most important mineral. Set up and 
protect a factory on Mars, and have several I.O.S.’s 
mining the asteroids for silver. To get your first bit of 
silver, send an I.O.S. fitted with a grapple to the as¬ 
teroids. It may take a while to find one small enough 
for the grapple to handle, but when you do, grab it and 
return it to Earth. When you get your first piece of sil¬ 
ver, produce at least 3 Asteroid Mining Attachments. 

Send several I.O.S.’s back automated with A.C.C.’s and 
Asteroid Mining Attachments to mine continuously. 

Mercury and Venus First 

Set up factories on Mercury and Venus first With 
factories orbiting Earth, Mercury, Venus and the Moon 
you have access to all minerals except Helium and Sil¬ 
ver. If you stay away from the planets beyond the as¬ 
teroid belt you won’t encounter the Methanoids. This 
will give you time to build up your mineral resources. 

Trading with the Methanoids 

When you finally do meet the Methanoids, send 
an I.O.S. with a grapple to dock with one of their facto¬ 
ries. You’ll won’t be able to understand them, and 
you’ll have to leave. Check your grapple. It should have 
an unknown object in it. Take it back to Earth and re¬ 
search it. You’ll be able to build a Communicator with 
it. The next time you go back to a Methanoid factory, 
take along the communicator and 2 supply pods full of 
minerals. You’ll be able to understand them now, and 
trade minerals. Here is a chart of what is traded for 

Iron Silica 

Silver Platinum 
Aluminum Carbon 
Copper Titanium 
Hydro gen*Methane 
Deuterium Helium 
Palladium Gold 

The chart goes both ways i.e., if you trade platinum 
the Methanoids will give you silver. 

Beware of Warlords 

Beware when your S.C.G. commander advances to 
the rank of Warlord. If you leave him in command 
long enough he will mutiny and take your ship to the 
Methanoids. If you saved the game recently, simply 
reload and rq^lace all Warlords with Admirals or Cap¬ 
tains. Keep your pilots trained by using them on the 
shuttles. Even if the shuttle is using an A.C.C., the pi¬ 
lots will still get experience. 

Mysteries Still Remain 

I finished the game, but did not discover all the 
items to be researched. I never did figure out how to 
use the Fuzz Laser, and there were a couple of spots 
open on my research list. If you use the technique for 
capturing factories as described above, you will have 
no need for l.QS. Drones. I had several thousand on 
hand at the end of the game, expecting all out ar- 
mageddon. If you discover all the items and how they 
are used, Td like to hear from you. 

If you need more help, drop me line. I live in 
Naples, Italy, so it’ll have to be via snail mail. My ad¬ 
dress is: James Parker, 6th Fleet Band, PSC 817, Box 
47, FPO AE 09622- 0400. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 59 


•Action with a. "Touch DntolUctual 

Review by Alfred Charles Cnovetti 

The sell sheet and advertising copy describe Gods 
as a challenge to the intellect After a quick glance at 
the box, the newly booted game showed the hero has 
more muscles than Arnold Schwarznegger, and less 
clothing than I did at the age of one minute. But this 
hero does not appear to have any brains. Even so, the 
game is intriguing and engaging, so we press on into 
arcade heaven. 

Gods places you in the persona of Hercules, who 
is challenged by the Gods to survive the gauntlet of 
perils found in a legendary city and emerge to receive 
the reward of immortality. Gods is full of gratuitous 
violence, with a bit of puzzle thrown in to make it all 
the more challenging. 

GodSj an action-arcade fantasy game, is the prod¬ 
uct of Bitmap Brothers, Renegade, and Konami pub¬ 
lishing partnership. Bitmap Brothers brought you 
Xenon, Speedball, and Speedball 2, all games that 

were played so much by my nine-year-old son that the 
disks were worn out. Gods received no less attention in 
our household. 

Gods is composed of four levels: the city, temple, 
labyrinth, and underworld. Each level has three worlds. 
At the end of each level is an enormous guardian. 
When you leave the game, you are given an individual 
code that allows you to reset your game to the beginn¬ 
ing of the level where you are. 

Gods is more than just an arcade game: it incor¬ 
porates many of the best elements of adventure 
games. With character interaction, you can use mon¬ 
sters in the game to help you achieve your objectives. 
There are three distinct monster types, each with his 
own objectives and personality: the killer, the flier, and 
the thief. The killer just wades into battle swinging. 
The flier avoids your attacks while trying to land a le¬ 
thal blow. A thief can steal objects inaccessible to you; 
but once killed, the thief will give you the objects. If 
there are no objects to be found, the thief will attack 
the main character. 

The game has text that provides you with hints 
and advice. Gods responds to your skill level by mak¬ 
ing the game easier for the uninitiated and more diffi¬ 
cult, with higher rewards, for clever solutions and ma¬ 
neuvers. Due to the individual nature of the “player 
monitor mode,” each game is different. These differ¬ 
ences are manifested in the personalized codes that al¬ 
low you to save the game when you are between 

1 The ST Connection is the only publication dedi- 
;; cated to providing news and information on Atari 

1 ST public domain and shareware programs. 




& Our Popular CURRENT VERSIONS List 



ST Link 


/ \ the Atari ST Desktop 

——A Publishing Environment 



P .0, BOX 2224 * ARVADA CO 80001 v. 


Time Savers! 

LogoLibrary'^ ^ ® 

LogoLibrary consists of over 1060 images for desktop publishing. 
Includes over 600 printer's logos for business advertising, 
stationery, etc. In addition there are 460 symbols and graphics 
for charts, posters, shirt designs, signs, etc. All images are ni-res 
300 dpi graphics In .IMG format for PageStream, Touch-Up, 
Calamus. Publisher ST. 6 d/s disks & 72 page directory. $39.95. 


for PageStream" 

The key to quick and easy, professional-looking forms and documents is Qwikforms , the only 
package of business and personal forms with over 100 different, adjustable layouts. Just choose 
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Page layouts include newsletters, letterheads, business cards, brochures, bookle ts, envelopes,^ 
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Templates for LOW and VIP Users! 

Now you can instantly use your spreadsheet to calculate and analyze mortgage rates, do your bookkeeping, 
calculate your income tax. estimate the maximum affordable price for property, design a savings program for 
education, count calories, create Invoices, etc. This package of 104 prefabricated spreadsheet templates covers 
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The STerling Connection 
Box 4850 

Berkeley, CA 94704 
To order by phono, call; 1 -800-624-2355 

To order by mail, sertd 
, check or money order to: 
(CA res. add 7 %) 

For Info, call 1-510-655-2355 

Any 2 of above-$69.95 
Any 3 of above-$89.95 
All 4 of above-$99.95 
Shipping-$3.00 ( USA) 
All other-^.OO 

Page 60 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

worlds. The code not only remembers where you are, 
but your own individualized proficiency level and style 
of play are encoded into this restoration code. This 
“player monitor mode” makes Gods a special game. 

Gods contains physical puzzles, object-oriented 
puzzles, progression puzzles, short-cuts, reward puz¬ 
zles, and traps. The progression puzzles usually in¬ 
volve a progression of steps that allow you to move on 
to the next level. The reward puzzles require more dif¬ 
ficult solutions, and the rewards are greater. The major 
object-oriented puzzles involve keys to open doors to 
other areas, or teleporters that open up hidden rooms. 
Gods has a four-object inventory, which is another ex¬ 
ample of how the authors of the game have blended 
two separate genre to form this remarkable game. 
Gods even has a store where the hero can purchase 
weapons, armor, and potions to help in his quest. 

The 16-bit, 16-color VGA graphics appear to be 
256-color, and are represented in surprising detail and 
precise texture. The richness of detail and the ability 
to go beyond the 16-color limitation make the graph¬ 
ics crisp and outstanding. The rocks look like rocks. 
The muscles look like muscles. The animation is fluid 
and smooth, with no visible stagger to the movements. 
The sound is quite good on all the standard sound 
boards, but the Roland is where the soundtrack shines. 
The music was composed by John Foxx, former 
member of the Ultravox band, in Rhythm King 



l or enCIre 
ST IT line 

Ldit ANYthIng A\Y Size ANYCime 
A Desk Accessory PRC lo edU 
Te\C. Data. Binary Files. Disk Sectors, R AM 

New features include: 

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• ( on\ orl buf f er lo hev for editinK dumping 

• Support of Marl clipboard 

• Auto Indent. Goto line. Goto b> le. 
and man> other enhancements ? 

\\allable from >our Atari dealer 
or order dlrecll> I rom C lear Thinking. 
Outside IS add $:) S H. 


\l-.a \la>ler(.ard orders; :ii;i-97l 8671 
. Clear rhlnklnic P<> Uo\ 7ir> Ann Arbor. Ml -I8l0r> 

Records sound studios (Renegade is founding partners 
with Rhythm King Records). 

Gods has already won many accolades, and has 
been selling well. Gods has captured the attention of 
the adventure game player and the arcade game player 
alike. Gods may well win some very spectacular 
awards. It certainly is one of my son’s favorite games. 
If you like action with a touch of intellectual chal¬ 
lenge, Gods may be the game for you. 

Gods Price: $39.95. 

Versions: IBM, Amiga, and Atari ST. 

Category: Action Adventure Arcade. 

Ver. Reviewed: IBM and Atari ST. 

Required: Hard disk, 12 MHz or better, DOS 

2.1 or better, 640K. 

Interface: Keyboard or joystick. 

Copy protection: Hard-to-read dark-red code sheet. 
Players: one. 

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate. 

Video: 16-color EGA, MCGA, VGA. 

Sound: Ad Lib, Sound Blaster, and Roland 

(enhanced sound). 

Konami Inc., 900 Deerfield Parkway, Buffalo 
Grove, IL 60089-4510. Telephone: (708)215-5111. 

Bitmap Brothers, Unit Cl, Metropolitan Warf, 
Wapping Wall, London El 9SS England. 


ATARI 8-BIT Software 
Many Titles in Stock 
BEST Prices in Town. 

Hardware and Peripherals 
Atari 8 & 16-Bit Products 
We also sell PC compatibles. 

Prices start at $500. 

All Atari Products 
Also other computer products. 

Since 1969 
4916 Del-Ray Ave. 
Bethesda, MD 20814 
(301) 656-7983 


September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 61 

Pacific Islands 

HoW^ CofTVB Ali Gamc^^ Aien’t Uke ThU? 

by Mike Hciningcr, (c) 1992 

Pacific Islands, the yawnsville name for the en¬ 
grossing armored combat simulation Team Yankee II, 
like its predecessor is one of the greatest ^mes ever to 
reach Atariland with superb playability, excellent 
graphics, and a friendly disposition that makes you 
smug about having invited it into your precious com¬ 
puter system. 

Unlike many games—rude beyond belief in their 
paranoid copy protection and can’t*be*bothered atti¬ 
tude toward Atari hard drives—Pacific Islands is rea¬ 
sonable with copy protection and a pleasure to install 
on hard disk. Copy protection simply requires identify¬ 
ing from the excellent manual pictures of three of the 
eight armored vehicles in the game. How utterly civi¬ 

Your (Mission: Recapture Yama-Yama 

The game could hardly be more enjoyable both 
near-term and long-term. Since the world is now in 
the wonderful position of having few black hat na¬ 
tions, the best villains this scenario can conjure are 
(gasp) North Koreans and disaffected Soviet Commu¬ 
nists. The four Team Yankee tank units are deployed 
to recapture the five Pacific islands of the fictional Ya- 
ma Yama atoll seized by haven’t-gotten-the-word 

Yama Yama has been a US. communications link 
for the early warning monitoring system (which obvi¬ 
ously wasn’t geared to the monitoring of this revolting 
development). And we want it back. 

Be Careful What You Blow Up 

The Pacific Islands box must be forgiven for being 
misleading as it shows helicopters, an F-15, and two 
Stealth fighters in treetop level support of an Ml tank 
landing on a beach. None of the aerial wizardry is in 
the game. (And Stealth fighters certainly are never 
used at low level in broad daylight!) 

Casual disciples of mayhem can still have a blast 
hopping from vehicle to vehicle to personally pull the 
trigger on every enticing target in sight. But don’t ex¬ 
pect to “win” the game this way. 

You see. Team Yankee II (strictly unofficial name 
with infinitely more marketing arf) has become politi¬ 
cally correct. Warriors of the 90s, it admonishes, must 
be more political and fiscal. So if you blow up any 
“unnecessary objects” like islanders’ property, you 
will be fined. No kidding. It is to barf. 

The best warriors always have been heedful of 
what to destroy and what to spare, even though pillage 
and plunder no longer are fashionable. Wrapping this 
axiom in financial penalties is degrading to profession¬ 
al soldiers. But ... it does make brownie points with 
cost-crazed mufti. 

You’ve Got 40 IMinlues to Win 

So go with the flow and enjoy the game as best 
you can with your own weird personal mental bag¬ 
gage. Again, however, if you want to “win,” you’ll 
have to “achieve your objectives within 40 minutes.” 
And that’s for each of the five atolls. As the excel¬ 
lent 72-page wirebound manual emphasizes, “You 
may have won because you have reached a desired lo¬ 
cation, held a defensive position for enough time, or 
destroyed the majority of the opposing forces.” And 
vice versa. 

(Money (Matters 

Money is crucial to success. Campaigns begin 
with $55 million financing. You can continue indefi¬ 
nitely until recapturing the entire Yama Yama atoll or 
running out of money You get credits for battle victo¬ 
ries or destroying key enemy installations, but you are 
debited for “gratuitous collateral damage. 

You also have to pay to restock vehicles damaged 
or destroyed as well as ammunition expended. Fun, 
huh? Well, just accept the premise, avoid Attila the 
Hun tendencies, and you should do OK without spend¬ 
ing more time on the calculator than the firing button. 

What’s New in the Sequel? 

Team Yankee has been reviewed by many sources, 
so let’s concentrate on the differences of its Pacific Is¬ 
lands sequel. The manual’s two-page Chapter 11 in¬ 
cludes the following PI highlights: 

• Play is not entirely sequential; no scenarios are re¬ 
peated at a more complex level. 

• You control funding of your entire campaign. 

• A minefield (250x250m) occasionally can be 
planted—both by you and the enemy! 

• The 3-D quadrant views add dead stop and zoom 
icons (great for quickly halting to blast distant 
hostiles). Dead stop is also added to the full¬ 
screen 3-D views. 

• Objectives are more complex, e.g., destroy any 
communications facility encountered. 

Page 62 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No.7 

• 3-D routines have been speeded up, allowing vil¬ 
lages to sometimes be created. 

• Opposition control is now more intelligent. 

• A genuine line of sight now operates. 

• Tree-line camouflage is more acceptable. 

A (Must Buy 

Like its Team Yankee progenitor, Pacific Islands is 
one of the few games to rate Must Buy. Emphasizing 
playability rather than maximum technical realism, 
Pacific Islands joins such classics as Lucasfilm’s Their 
Finest Hour and Battlehawks 1942 as among the few 
Atari games to be not only eminently playable, an op¬ 
timum choice between technical realism and game 
pleasure, but eminently installable on hard disk and 
eminently reasonable in copy protection. 

Falcon remains the epitome of jet fighter air com¬ 
bat simulation but is occasionally cranky. MicroProse 
games (e.g., F-I9 Stealth Fighter, Silent Service, MI 
Tank Platoon, Gunship) are unequalled in strategy and 
detail, but usually are difficult if not impossible to in¬ 
stall on hard disk. Many otherwise commendable 
games are too technical, too hard to install, too hard 
to run, too temperamental, or too ridiculous in copy 
protection to enjoy without serious reservations. 

So if you have the most remote interest in a thor¬ 
oughly pleasurable armored combat simulation, buy 
Pacific Islands and join the rest of us in beaming, 
“Now there’s a great game! How come all games 
aren’t like this?” 

[Pacific Islands was tested on a Mega ST4, TOS 
1.0, with hard disL Works well with AdSpeed and 
TweetyBoard. About $45. From Empire Software, 4 
The Stannetts, Laindon North Trade Centre, Basildon, 
Essex SSI5 6D1; telephone 0268 541126; fax 0268 

K J\f cot, 


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PageAssistant(on-iine help) $ 39 
ImageCat 2.0 (Pic Catalog) $ 28 
Dr. BOB'S Modules(Qot'om) $ Call 
Migraph OCR ( Asci) $269 
MegaPaint 2 Pro. $ 169 

Avant Vector (Blt-2-Vector+) $ 479 
Arabesque Professional $ 129 
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I Band in A Box Pro v.6 
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1 AviUonPeuVw A to D board 
I MasterSoore 2.0 (Notation) 
EditTrack Gold 

I SMPTETrack Old. w/SMPTE 

$ 69 EZ Score Rus(Auto-Notation) 
$ 479 Digital Master EX (D-Z-D) 

$ 283 Notator3.15 
$1055 C-Lab Unitor 2 
$ 387 C-Lab Export 
$ Call Take Note (Music Educ.) 

$ Low Hyberswitch (Multi-Tasking) 

$ 79 StereoMaster Sampling (^E) 
$ 349 Rolcmd Gear 10% overcost 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 63 

f legend 1 

1 Much a Inland “Thin^ g 

i by Fred Pcrcival J 

Anthony Taglione and Pete James wrote one of the 
most successful ST games of all time. Bloodwych was 
released in 1989 and was the best Dungeon Master 
clone available for the Atari until I99rs Knightmare. 
Now, almost three years later, the “Tag brothers” have 
completed their second game. This new offering. Leg¬ 
end, is very different from Bloodwych. It is also much 
less entertaining. 

Third Person, not First Person 

Isometrics is the hot look in ST role games this 
year. Instead of a flat first-person view, you see an en¬ 
tire room viewed from an upper corner. Legend is 
constructed on an isometric platform, with the party 
of four rambling about the dungeon floors, moving 
around and interacting with 3-D objects and oppo¬ 
nents. They open and pass through doors, open and 
loot chests, throw levers, and battle bad guys. 

The 3D implementation compares poorly to other 
iso games like Populous, Breach 2, and Cadaver, how¬ 
ever. In these three games, consistent scale was sacri¬ 
ficed for viewability. Legend’s characters, as well as 
objects, are scaled to be consistent with room sizes. 
This means they are quite small—so small that details 
are difficult to distinguish. Also, no walls are ever 
shown in the dungeons; just floors and doorways. By 
contrast. Cadaver features interesting walls and a verti¬ 
cal game element—multiple levels and climbing over 
objects—that really make the environment 3D. Legend 
is only 2D; nothing ever moves off of the floor. Over¬ 
all the atmosphere is not compelling, given the tiny 
scale, lack of backdrops and ground-only animation. 

One aspect of the game that is handled well is 
movement of the party. The controls are Popu/ous-like 
icons arrayed around the 4”x4” on-screen platform. 
All movement is controlled by the mouse, and the 
whole game can be played with mouse icons. Key 
equivalents are available for non-movement com¬ 
mands, however. Like the game Drakkhen, you move 
a character by clicking on a destination. If you move 
one character, any others who are in the way will 
move to let the leader pass. And, characters follow the 
leader from room to room dependably. This is a huge 
improvement over Drakkhen’s clumsy party move¬ 

The Four on the Floor 

The four characters are the obligatory hacker 
(Berserker), a thief (Assassin), a magician (Runemas- 

ter) and a Bard. The Bard fights and can play tunes 
that boost party attributes as long as the Bard plays. 
He/she also knows a very handy ditty that heals 
wounds. The Assassin can become effectively invisi¬ 
ble, so as to stab opponents in the back more readily. 
The Berserker does as advertised, going into a slashing 
frenzy when prompted. There is a LOT of combat in 
the game, with randomly generated opponents appear¬ 
ing in hallways with mind-numbing frequency. Any 
player who does not enjoy constant combat is going to 
become bored very quickly. 

Combat as a Spectator Sport 

Combat looks like a square dance until you get 
used to it. You just put the party into combat mode 
and they mill around with whatever opponents they’re 
fighting (with sound effects). At first it’s difficult to 
keep track of which figures in the swarm are yours. 
But you eventually become able to distinguish them. 
It’s important for each character to use his or her spe¬ 
cial ability in combat, but you must manually select it 
at the start of each scuffle. Doing this for each of four 
characters gets old in a hurry. Combat spells are total¬ 
ly under player control; you select which spell and 
where to throw it. Of course, the opposition throws 
spells around as well. 

You do have some limited control over party com¬ 
bat actions; for example, you can rally the group 
around a beleaguered member, or have everyone flee 
the room by clicking on the chicken icon. But for the 
most part, after you “turn on” each character’s at¬ 
tributes, combat is something you watch rather than 

Runes and Reagents 

The heart of Legend’s gameplay is the magic sys¬ 
tem. The Runemaster mixes ingredients and runes to 
manufacture spells. Spells can have many compo¬ 
nents, achieving several objectives in one throw. Mix¬ 
ing complex spells is like programming a macro in¬ 
struction. This is all right, but frequent use of magic 
requires a huge supply of materials, so logistics is an 
important part of a Runemaster’s craft. The Ultima¬ 
like raw materials requirement makes magic use more 
like assembly line work than craft An example of a 
complex spell is “Heal, Antimage, Surround, Paralyze, 
Continuous, Damage, Missile, Damage.” This single 
eight-part spell would require the mixing of eight 
runes and eight ingredients. The spell’s effect is to heal 
the caster, protect the caster from magic, define the ar¬ 
ea of influence for the rest of the spell as the area 
around the caster, cast a paralyze spell on those eight 
locations, make further effects continuous, cause dam¬ 
age, fire missiles in aH directions away from the cast¬ 
er, causing damage on explosion ... all from one cast! 

Page 64 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No.7 

Rune Rooms 

The game relies heavily on the complexity of 
the magic system; many puzzles require compound 
spells for solution. Common features of dungeon 
rooms are floor tiles bearing magical runes. An ex¬ 
ample would be a room with the magic Damage 
rune shown on some floor tiles. There is a switch 
and a door in the room beyond some water, and, 
therefore, inaccessible. Also on the far side of the 
water are more Damage rune tiles and two towers. 
Firing a "Missile, Damage, Damage” spell at the 
nearby Damage rune tile causes the towers to fire 
damage spells at some of the distant Damage rune 
tiles. This, in turn, causes a new floor tile to appear 
on the water, allowing your characters to reach the 
switch. Throwing the switch rotates the towers; fur¬ 
ther spells and manipulations eventually allow ac¬ 
cess to the door. 

Life Outside the Dungeons 

There is more to Legend than the dungeons. Up 
above on the surface there is an invasion by evil 
forces taking place. As usual, some "strange and 
powerful entity as old as the world is stirring in its 
sleep.” Your party must defeat several invading ar¬ 
mies, and spend much of its loot to help the town 
garrisons hold off the hordes. Exploration of the 
many dungeons in the game is necessary to prepare 
the four adventurers for the inevitable final confron¬ 
tation. The villages, towns and keeps have shops for 
supplies and equipment, temples where characters 
pray and make offerings for luck points, and taverns 
where information can be had. A Guild, where expe¬ 
rience points are cashed in for level increases, exists 
in one town only. 

Too Much of a Bland Thing 

Legend is an ambitious undertaking, with a 
large scope and a decent, complex plot. The manual 
is complete and informative, unusual for a Eu¬ 
rogame. The movement of the four party members 
is superb. But the overgrown magic system, tiny 
graphics and constant combat quickly caused me to 
lose interest. 1 have played many good, involving 
role playing games on the ST. Unfortunately, Legend 
is not one of them. 

Legend is published by Mindscape International. 
It comes on two double-sided disks, with protected 
formatting. The manual is much better than most 
from Europe. Advertised prices are in the $40-$45 
range. The game was released with a serious prob¬ 
lem. It does not save games on Mega SPs, and pre¬ 
sumably any machine running TOS 2. Mindscape 
has fixed the file routines and has the repaired ver¬ 
sion of Legend available on request 

^ FnT<>irilliin i»stlClrlesp|fFir:l [tc»olTe»tirL(i«<IS«vei rTl Htlal||ntHa 



I IH» m 0 M 1 1 « Iciwl Halt I II Htau 





fNtlflr^ lav II [gul f 


store II Patch II Prim 

Siitilsl ! Sow floi<i I lutoTteo I ric>o fTeiit 

r*rou] scoior high to Fcniiilab - if you do any cugiueeriug or sctciilific 
calculatioo& ihcu you need this pfx>griuii. 

* Numerical integration, differentiaiion * Systems of linear and non-linear 
equations * Function optimization * Mean, s,d. * Linear regression, 
correlation * Polynomial least squares * Multi-parameter fits * Unit 
conversion * Real and complex roots of (up to) qunrtic equations 
? Version 2.2 has new graphic capabilities. $63. 

Desk Flic List Hap Plot Find Options Help 

* 9000-*- brighter stars * 300 deep sky objects * Planets, comets, Sun and 
Moon * Various projections, reference frames and maguificatious * Mapping, 
browsing and database manipulation ♦ Object .search and identification 
? Version 1.2 adds planet patli plotting and more. $43 

ni CaPs little brother, a scientific 
calculator accessory, with the most 
powerful function set on the market 
(95 total). $15. 

An extra data with 40.0004- 
stars iuid 4,000 deep sky objects. 
For Star Base 1.1 or higher. Hard 
drive recommcmled. $22. 

All programs run ou any Atari .ST, Mega, ST^ or TT, color or monochrome. 
All need 1 MByte of RAM. 

Prices as shown include shipping. When ordering two products, deduct $6, and $4 
for each next. Outside continental US please add $5. 

Updates: first one free, then $5 each. Upgrades to El Cal 2.2 from l.xx; $20 

Send a check ($US ou a US bank) or money order to 
Debonair Software, P.O.B. 521166, SLC, UT’ 84152-1166 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 65 

s Fore! Golf Simulations 

I It A(i StaiktexL WitK LBodcic^ Bealed. 

by Mike Heiningcr, (c) 1992 

Nothing like a rainy day for enjoying an exciting 
game of golf through the wonders of personal compu¬ 
ter simulation, right? 

Well, sorta. Like all simulations, it depends a lot 
on how much you like the real thing that is being sim¬ 
ulated. As a once- or twice-monthly peak season occa¬ 
sional hacker, I can take or leave golf. So my per¬ 
spective of the following four golf simulations^M/cro- 
Prose Golf, Jack Nicklaus’ Greatest 18 Holes of Major 
Championship Golf (and the world’s longest game ti¬ 
tle), Leader Board, and Mean 18^is pretty much fun 
with an attitude: “Prove you’re worth my time.” That 
viewpoint may be quite different from yours. But 1 bet 
we can agree that most of these four fores offer some¬ 
thing useful that we can’t quite match anywhere else. 

This is not an in-depth review. Instead, it’s the 
kind of quick, casual appraisal we all make when 
we’re not deeply committed, but still receptive to a 
game. We’ll start with an overview, then compare ma¬ 
jor characteristics, and wind up with recommenda¬ 


MicroProse Golf, 1992, $45, is typical MicroProse 
with an extremely detailed, informative manual (112 
pages plus 2 Atari unique pages, 1 club card, and 6 col¬ 
or course cards) that guarantees it the Play Until You 
Die Longevity Interest award. Jack Nicklaus (to 
abridge the nine-word title), 1990, Accolade, $32, of¬ 
fers not only Big Name endorsement, but the Big 
Name’s favorite 18 holes in all of golf! For everyone 
who has ever wondered what a $125-a-round course 
looks like, this is mecca. Mean 18, 1987, also 
Accolade, cost not recalled, was popular with its 
unique feature of allowing players to design their own 
courses. Consequently many courses became availa¬ 
ble, even on public domain disks. I was given Mean 18 
for Christmas in 1987, but its crude graphics and ten¬ 
dency to bomb early relegated it to the also-ran pile of 
disks. Leader Board, 1986, $30, Access Software 
(Bruce and Roger Carver), was the first golf game 1 
bought, shortly after 1 bought my Atari 1040ST. Unfor¬ 
tunately, it is one of the first and last games using the 
obscene and blessedly rare “security key” copy protec¬ 
tion, a plastic plug that must be inserted and kept in 
the joystick port for the game to run. Consequently I 
rarely play Leader Board, although when I do, it’s intu¬ 
itive and fun. 

We’re talking about three golf simulations because 
Mean 18 always bombs before I get very far into 
ifusually about the second hole. I’ve also tried Greg 
Norman*s Shark Attack (1990, $40, Melbourne House) 
and Challenge Golf (1991, $30, On-Line Entertain¬ 
ment) at L&Y, but neither seems sufficiently better or 
different to buy it. What is special about the three we 
are talking about, and which is best? 

Leader Board 

With only one disk and no computer opponents. 
Leader Board is fast loading, fast playing, and quite in¬ 
tuitive. Driving power and timing are the familiar ver¬ 
tical thermometer design; putting is also the same idea 
in eight-foot increments. Wind and its direction are in¬ 
dicated by a logical stake and shadow which also show 
height and direction of slope on the green. Lead¬ 
er Board's manual needs only 16 small pages. Aim by 
holding down the left mouse button. Hit the ball by 
clicking and releasing the right mouse button a couple 
times. Choose one of four incognito courses. Play 
medal, match, or best ball, but don’t expect Leader 
Board to keep score on anything but the simplest. 

No computer opponents emerge on Leader Board, 
but it’s fun and quick to play your own human four¬ 
some with others or yourself. Categories of pro, ama¬ 
teur, and novice are distinguished by such variables as 
whether wind speed affects play. 

Graphics are nice, but flat and lack contour. The 
biggest problem is inadvertent club change, selected by 
rolling the mouse forward or backward. Well, I don’t 
think Leader Board is much available anymore. Cost¬ 
ing $30 in 1986, Leader Board is still great fun if you 
can find it 

Jack Nicklaus 

Jack Nicklaus, apparently Accolade’s heir to Mean 
18, is fascinating simply because one of the three 
courses is called the “greatest 18 holes of champion¬ 
ship golf.” That alone, since it reflects the opinion of 
one of the greatest golfers, is niche enough to buy it. 

But the Jack Nicklaus copy protection is the most 
visually sadistic anywhere. It’s a wonder Accolade 
hasn’t been sued out of existence by people blinded 
trying to match black-outlined holes on a deep ma¬ 
roon sheet. Can’t photocopy it? Can’t read it either’or 
just barely. Genuinely awfuPgenerating the hate few 
products can survive! 

Page 66 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No.7 

Like MicroProse Golf and Leader Board, Jack 
Nicklaus demands boot loading. Play speed is moder¬ 
ate, with screen refreshment an irritating left-to-right 
slow curtain. Nine personalized computer opponents 
are available, including Nicklaus himself and four 
women, but often computer opponent play is madden¬ 
ingly slow'just as real golf can be. 

Driving is by vertical thermometer, aiming by 
aligning a ball at the top of the screen with the pin. 
Putting is also by vertical thermometer, but hard to 
align because the aim point is behind the hole. That’s 
as absurd as aiming a gun as if the sights were behind 
the target! Slope of greens is indicated by a circle with 
a clocklike hand pointing to slope direction as a power 
bar beneath indicates wind speed. 

Play options are skins or stroke, each with two to 
four players, at levels of beginner, expert, or profes¬ 
sional. Graphics are good, with some hill effect Club 
selection is easy with vertical arrows. Sound is good, 
even some speech, and OK on TweetyBoard. 

MicroProse Golf 

MicroProse Golf takes a long time to load, has 
moderate play speed, and a difficult driving gauge of a 
semicircle from 1 o’clock to 3 o’clock instead of the 
familiar vertical thermometer. Complications include 
nine possible lies from fluffy (top of grass) to plugged 
(nearly buried in sand) and the ability to adjust tee 
height, angle of your feet and placement of ball to¬ 
ward front or back foot 

Calling itself 3-D, MicroProse Golf offers over¬ 
head views of each hole (as does Jack Nicklaus) with 
ability to rotate view through four directions. The 
main 3-D effect is achieved by ball flight monitored 
from one of five camera positions reflecting Micro- 
Prose’s long experience with multiview simulations. 

Six courses are included on the three disks, which 
have 11 play options: medal, skins, head-to-head, tour¬ 
nament singles, three ball, four ball, best ball three 
or four, threesome, or foursome. Players can be hu¬ 
man or computer, novice or handicapped based on 
past scores (default is 28 handicap). 

MicroProse Golf offers good graphics, game 
saves, statistics, and driving aim. MicroProse Golf al¬ 
so features saving up to six player profiles, 12 replays, 
and 12 game positions; righthanded or lefthanded 
players; and automatic distance in putting (i.e., click 
when the horizontal putting thermometer color reach¬ 
es the tick marks). 

That automatic distance putting seems to negate 
many of the comparatively more difficult options 
available in the driving, pitching, and chipping, but 
sinking a putt is surprisingly difficult in spite of con¬ 
tour grid and behind-the-hole viewing options. Weird¬ 
ly, no player is seen when putting in MicroProse Golf, 
adding to the paradoxical ho-hum let’s tap it in atti¬ 

tude toward what can be the most demanding aspect 
of golf. Screen refreshment is fast, and club selection 
usually is automatic. 

And the Winner Is... 

So which of these three golf simulations do I play 
the most? Frankly, none of them. To be excruciatingly 
honest, 1 rarely go more than five or six holes any 
time 1 play any of these golf simulations. Which re¬ 
flects my casual interest in golf, not the merit of the 

But 1 do know enough golf to know what to enjoy, 
so just as in real golf, the infrequent times 1 play them 
1 enjoy ... all three: MicroProse Golf, Jack Nicklaus, 
and Leader Board. 

This in itself is a selection, not a copout. Note 1 
was given Mean 18 but do not play it because it bombs 
frequently. Note 1 tried but did not buy Greg Norman’s 
Shark Attack and Challenge Golf. Others might prefer 
them; 1 don’t. 

leader Board reminds me of Advanced Destroy¬ 
er Simulator and Sherman M4'not the most complex 
games, but easy to intuitively enjoy. Jack Nicklaus is a 
nice middle ground, sort of like Team Yankee and Pa¬ 
cific Islands tank simulators. 

And MicroProse Golf! “MicroProse” says it all'in- 
structional, educational, fairly technical, and the most 
long-range potential because of its complexity, which 
also makes it the most short-range deferrable. 

If 1 had to buy them in sequence instead of con¬ 
currently, I’d go from most simple to most complex: 
Leader ^ard. Jack Nicklaus, MicroProse Golf Each 
has at least one major irritant: the copy protection plug 
in Leader Board, the copy protection blinding black 
on deep maroon paper in Jack Nicklaus, the half¬ 
moon swing thermometer in MicroProse Golf. 

Most of all, this shows the importance of niche 
marketing. It is rare to find any single product so good 
it completely overshadows all competitors. What is 
more appropriate than golf simulations to remind us, 
“Different strokes for different folks”? 

Played on a htoga ST4 with TOS 1.0, cold boot 
from Drive A only. Leader Board availability uncer¬ 
tain; marketed in 1986 by Access Software Inc., 2561 
S 1560 y/. Woods Cross, Utah 84087. Mean 18 availabil¬ 
ity uncertain; marketed in 1987 by Accolade, 20833 
Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, CA 95014; tele¬ 
phone (408) 446-5757. Jack Nicklaus from Acco¬ 
lade, 550 S. Winchester Blvd., Suite 200, SanJose, CA 
95128; (408) 296-8400. MicroProse Golf from Micro¬ 
Prose, Unit 1, Hampton Road Industrial Estate, Tet- 
bury, GIos. GL8 8LD; telephone 0666 504326; fax 
0666 504331. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 67 

Multi play 















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Exploration y 
^lAcovotif y and 

tactic o. 

Designed for 
children 5-11. 

Review by Bill Moes 

In education the most teachable subject, both in 
school and at home, is math computation. Very young 
children often learn beginning concepts by counting 
common objects. Many of us learned the basic facts 
by penciling down short marks and placing them into 
either larger or smaller groups. Using variations, the 
basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplica¬ 
tion, and division can be understood. 

While these steps can help us see the truth behind 
the abstract, there is still a need for the drill, the prac¬ 
tice. Making three marks in one circle and then mak¬ 
ing four marks in another circle may show us that 
there are now seven marks all together, but how 
quickly can we answer the problem “3 -t- 4”? It takes 
effort to learn all the basic facts we need to know. 

And when we see that 2 X 5 = 10 and 3 X 5 = 15 
and 4 X 5 = 20 and 5 X 5 = 25, we’re beginning to see 
a pattern for multiplying by five. Math patterns help 
us learn and remember the basic facts 
more quickly. 

Games and programs in math com¬ 
putation have always been popular and 
common on computers. Beginners’ texts 
in computer programming, whatever the 
language studied, almost always deal 
with numbers and basic operations in the 
early chapters. And many of us, as we 
learned BASIC or another language, prac¬ 
ticed by writing a math drill program for 
our own children or for our own amuse¬ 

Multiplay, a recent release for the 
Atari ST, offers children aged 5-11 the 
chance to explore and discover number 
patterns for addition and multiplication. 

along with the opportunity to practice basic facts or 
simple problems. 

The program comes on two single-sided disks, 
one for addition and one for multiplication. The de¬ 
tailed 28-page documentation booklet explains the 
easy process of combining the two onto one double¬ 
sided disk and selecting from a handful of options de¬ 
signed to tailor the auto-loading program to each 
child’s needs. 

Those options include offering problems with 
numbers from 0-9, 0-19, or (with a 1-meg ST) 0-29. 
It’s possible to print the problem grid shown, either 
with or without some or all of the answers. A puzzle/ 
game section allows one or two players to fill in the 
grid with colors as problems are answered; and there’s 
an option available to make additional puzzles. An 
exit to desktop is also a possible option. A color moni¬ 
tor is required. 

Page 68 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

The Pattern Screen 

A 10 X 10 grid is shown. If numbers 
available range 0-19 or 0-29, arrows are 
displayed for movement to various sec¬ 
tions of the grid. All or some answers 
may be shown or hidden. By clicking on 
a column or row, that entire column/row 
may be filled or blanked. 

It’s possible to take a lO-problem test 
on problems; simply click on a box and 
then key in the answer. If there’s a mis¬ 
take, a second chance is offered. Color is 
used to shade the problems answered cor¬ 
rectly or incorrectly. 

A 10 X 10 grid may be printed with 
any printer that accepts an ST screen 
dump. (If your printer does not work with the print 
option, you’re encouraged to contact the authors for 
assistance.) The printed grid may include blank spaces 
for practice or may have some or all of the answer 
blocks filled. 

A real key to using this pattern screen effectively 
is for the parent or teacher to encourage the child with 
suggestions andgoals. There’s a three-page section in 
the documentation offering ways to look for patterns 
and ideas for the child to explore. It’s a most impor¬ 
tant section. 

scenes. Up to 50 puzzles may be saved to disk. Then, 
when a child wants to play a puzzle screen, he may 
choose to play either screens selected from the origi¬ 
nal disk or those designed with the puzzle maker. 

A puzzle editor is also provided on the program 
disk to delete puzzles no longer wanted. When this ed¬ 
itor is used, each puzzle created with the puzzle 
maker is shown and you’re given the option of remov¬ 
ing it from the file. 


The Puzzle Screen 

A one- or two-player game is available. Each play¬ 
er enters his name and a puzzle is selected. Once the 
puzzle grid is shown, the player clicks on a grid block 
and keys in the problem answer. If the answer is cor¬ 
rect, that block and all other blocks designed with that 
color are filled with color. Play continues until the de¬ 
sign is complete. As it’s completed, a small version of 
the design is created in the upper left of the monitor’s 

Again, arrows allow movement to different areas 
if it’s a 0-19 or 0-29 grid. Scores are based on the 
problem’s answer, so the problems with higher answ¬ 
ers yield higher scores. Of course, they may be harder 
to solve, also. 

Problems may be displayed horizontally or verti¬ 
cally to the left of the grid and the scores are shown 
above the grid. The best scores are saved to disk, with 
a separate file for each operation and for one- or two- 
player versions. 

In addition to using the puzzle screens already 
prepared on the disk, it’s possible to make your own 
puzzle screens. A 10 X 10 grid is shown and each 
block is painted one of 13 colors. 

While 100 blocks do not allow great variety, it’s 
possible to creatively design some interesting puzzle 

Multiplay ($40.00) is an interesting and worth¬ 
while addition to the library of learning software for 
the ST. It lacks any timed drill in math facts, but soft¬ 
ware for that more direct drill-and-practice is already 

Multiplay offers children the opportunity to learn 
some of the basic patterns in our number system 
while addition and multiplication facts are studied. 
The puzzle screen should be enjoyed for its colorful, 
often surprising, scenes and for the opportunity chil¬ 
dren have to create their own math-related pictures. 

The software is easily used and, with the installa¬ 
tion program, it’s possible to provide different options 
for children of different abilities. As is true with most 
learning software for children, those who benefit the 
most will be those whose parents or teachers provide 
some channels to explore. 

D. A. Brumleve, the program’s author, has pub¬ 
lished a series of software for young children. Other 
programs she has available include: Kidpainter (graph¬ 
ics and paint...$35), Kidpublisher Professional (desktop 
publishing ... $40), Super Kicigrid (graphics de¬ 
sign ... $25), and Telegram (silly song player ... $25). 
She has also released many programs available on 
public domain disks. Her target audience is children 
aged up to about II. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 69 



1 am a survivor of College, spc 
ciflcally in the field of computer sci¬ 
ence. G have this piece of paper that 
says I’m a “Bachelor of Science" in 
“Computer Science” ... “bach¬ 
elor” ?!? What’s Sandy going to s^ 
about than Wait a minute, she has 
one, too! Bachclorcttc?) Anyway, as a 
survivor, one of those who climbed out 
of the smoking, cratered, Iraqi-likc ru¬ 
ins of a higher educational institution,' 
dressed like Mad Max in the Road 
Warrior, my dog “Dog” at my side, 
(complete with my knee brace!), and 
now as a person with 12 years perspec¬ 
tive on my internment in the concen¬ 
tration arena, I feel I should at least try 
to pass along a few words of advice to 
the young folks who arc going to a 
school, possibly for the first time, this 
year. In that w^, I can possibly pre¬ 
serve some fairly valuable knowledge 
and “pass it forward.” I'wo Routes 

What is college for? Well, the 
way I had it explained to me, you can 
do one of two things. You can get out 
of high school, have no “piece of pa¬ 
per,” and not be able to get a high-pay¬ 
ing job. You then end up doing exciting 
things like mowing lawns, flipping 
burgers, and running people’s charge 
cards at gas stations. G about to 
say “pumping gas,” but that would 
date me!—I did that.) 

This is not optimal. 

Or, you can go to college. There, 
something happens (no one really tells 
you much about it, except a few tanta¬ 
lizing details of beer busts, women, 
and Finals, sort of like an R-ratcd 
movie), and you get your “B.S.” paper. 
With this paper, you arc then snapped 
up one of a hundred companies 
who actually come to the school ... 
whoa! ... to talk toyou ... and pay you 
big bucks to come program for them. 

This seemed more optimal to me. 

I did this. 

Goin’ to School 

Rule One: This is not the way it is. 

The Other Routes 

What I was not told was that there 
were other options. For many peopie, 
going straight from high school to col¬ 
lege doesn’t work, and it’s hard to ever 
try again. Some of the happiest people 
I know took a year or two off, worked, 
travelled, didn’t work, got a little per¬ 
spective on what the world really was 
like (high school has little to do with 
real world), then went to college. 

Some of the very best hackers I 
know of just considered college a 
waste of time; they were already busy 
designing musical synthesizers for Ap¬ 
ple 11’s or disk duplicators and accu¬ 
rately measuring magnetic flux events 
on (loppy disks every 62.5 nanosec¬ 
onds (billionths of a second). The fin¬ 
est hardware and software person 1 
have ever known went this way, and 
pretty much docs what he wants; I had 
the luck to be on his computer system, 
and thus in his user group, while I was 
in high school, and so I found some¬ 
thing I could do with myself: creating 
on a Hewlett Packard 2000C’ time¬ 
sharing system. 

Or take (for example) someone 
like our own fairly awesome Dave 
Troy, who is in college right now, but 
also running a respectable business as 
an Atari dealer, doing real-world 
things in business and mixing them to¬ 
gether with the quite unreal world of 
college. Dave reminds me, oh, of 
some of the hottest rock from the band 
Boston, and I have no problem telling 
you that one of the reasons I enjoy 
Current Notes so much is what Dave 
writes here. 

Well, back to college, assuming 
you decide to go ... and can afford it. 
You do realize that the average age of 
people in the USA is now 33, and that 

by David Small 
Copyright 1992 
(All rights reserved.) 

employers arc desperate to latch onto 
qudified young people who might 
want to stick around awhile; they’re 
hard to find! Hence, you might find 
that spending two years for a “lesser” 
degree, and some real world experi¬ 
ence in computers (repeat after me: 
Lotus 1-2-3y Vbrd Perfect^ dBase ... 
and a little experience with PageMak 
er, a Mac, and a LaserWriter is great) 
might just be the ticket. 

None of your Atari experience is 
going to hurt you in any event. You 
may get real annoyed with other com¬ 
puters and the stupid way they do 
things, compared to the Atari, but the 
Atari can really often serve as a model 
of how to get things done. Just seeing 
“Folders” in a window, instead of 
“subdirectories,” cleared up the con¬ 
cept of folders/subdirs for a friend of 
mine instantly. 

rhe Real iruth 

In your first year of college, 
you’re going to discover that you’re not 
in Kansas anymore, Toto (assuming 
you’re not going to Kansas State.) 
There is some pretty weird stuff going 
down here, that is Real Different. 

The first thing is this 1984’esque 
thing called “grades.” Let me explain. 
You’re given a “grade” on your work, 
test scores, how many times the 
teacher sees you coming for help, 
whether you sit in the front row so he 
remembers your face, and so on. Con¬ 
sider this amazing thing: a “C” grade 
is considered “average” ; it is a 2.0 on 
the “grade point” scale. If you make 
all C’s, you are (theoretically) doing 
“average” ; half the people are above, 
half the people are below you. 

* Yet, 2.0 is the cut-off point where 
they kick you out of school; I know it 
well, for my first semester was a 1.8. (I 
plead culture shock). I was on aca- 

Page 70 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

demic probation my second semester, 
but pulled the net GPA up past 2. 

Now, what’s wrong with this pic¬ 
ture? You sec it. If you’re “average,” 
then you’re 50th out of a 100; there arc 
50 people below you in grade point 
who are supposed to flunk out, every 
semester, twice a year. 

This means that each school year, 
with its Fall and Spring semesters, the 
school population should decline by 
half twice; after four years, assum¬ 
ing 100 people entered the school, 
0.3907 people should graduate. (Go 
ahead and do the math—divide 100 by 
2, 8 times for the 8 semesters. 0.3907 
of one person is left.) 

Rule 2: Grades are of a different reality, 
like quantum particies. 

Yet we still see gymnasiums full 
of grads, so, obviously, more than four 
tenths of one made it through the 
eight-semester gauntlet. Hence, there 
is an amazing gap between grades and 
reality^ and you should lose any notion 
instantly that grades mean anything in 
the real world. They do not. And you 
can have it work for you, or against 

Rule 3: College grades should be con¬ 
sidered as nothing more than one 
ASCII character, and not representative 
of your intelligence, skill, or willing¬ 
ness to work. 

Examples, both ways: In one par¬ 
ticularly boncheaded computer class, 
the instructor assigned us the writing 
of a computer program, by hand, in 
class, as a 1-hour test. I wrote it up and 
checked it as best I could. When he 
graded it, he marked it “wrong” in an 
obviously correct subroutine. I took it 
to him, and we sat down and 
line-by-line executed the WHOLE 
PROGRAM. Where he had marked 
“wrong” ... well, he WAS wrong, so I 
suppose it was correctly marked. 
<chucklc> Alas, near the end of the 
code, I made a simple mistake, so he 
looked at me and said, “I just knew 
there was a mistake here somewhere.” 

Reality Check: How many com¬ 
puter programs ever run on the first 

try? Is this something to grade on? I’ve 
done it once (the Neil Young story I 
have often told is true). 

Rule 4: Professors stoop to incredible 
lows to find ways to assign grades, be¬ 
cause they have to. 

So I got a bad grade in that class, 
having something of a reality and atti¬ 
tude problem with it. And I just loved 
the other class where the school’s 
budget could only afford NAND chip 
gates—so we had to build up every 
other type of gate out of NAND’s to 
make circuits (which you can do—Sey¬ 
mour Cray built the Cray-1 out of ECL 
NAND gates). But we spent 90% of 
the time on “busy work,” cobbling to¬ 
gether “OR” gates and later, tearing 
them back down. 

In another class, the class’s text¬ 
book was, well, the teacher’s, and not 
finished yet. We literally got 8 1/2x11 
photocopies of the manuscript^ little 
hand-drawn diagrams, and we got to 
“beta test” all the bugs in the book 
(there were lots), for no pay. Of 
course, the book cost full price. An¬ 
other downcheck. 

Rule 5: Remember; you’re paying for 

On the other hand, you can make 
this stupid system work FOR YOU, 
with the magic of “Independent 
Study.” This is where you become 
friends with a teacher and cook up a 
three or four credit-hour self study on 
whatever really turns you on. I did one 
of these on an ARP-26(X) synthesi'/er 
(yeah, I know...) and made a 
two-minute demo tape for my “grade” 
; I put all sorts of technology into that 
tape, from a feedback-driven guitar 
sustain to a wah-pcdal controlled by a 
light-sensitive resistor controlled by a 
light bulb on the outputs of a Sher¬ 
wood amp; I fed the Sherwood a sine 
wave, accelerated its frequency, and 
made this ...SOUND... that gave me 
goose pimples, and which I’ve been 
known to put on Mac Emulator release 
disks as a hidden dedication page. I 
had great fun, stretched my knowl¬ 
edge, and the ARP’s transistors, to the 

very limit, and I got a four credit A. 
Those four credit A’s arc like the 
“healing” potions in dungeon games; 
they offset those “D” things in dwee- 
bo-taught computer classes. 

This is the best secret I can give 
you to make it through college rela¬ 
tively unscarred. Independent Study. 

Rule 6: If the classes are meaningless, 
make up your own. At least you will 
learn somethingl 

It is the only reason I graduated, 
with one of the lowest GPA’s ever suc¬ 
cessfully graduated at that school. 
However, I learned a great deal that 
came in handy in my career, as it 
stands, far more than if I had stuck to 
The Standard Curriculum. 

Get to know the professors; 
they’re people, even if they’re a little 
weird. Be pleasant to the crazies, but 
really get to know the nice ones. There 
are always a few decent ones who 
want to sec someone try something 
new on a self-study. Some of the pro¬ 
fessors there really are trying to ex¬ 
pand knowledge; others are playing 
politics, yada, yada. (“Yada” is a 
trademark of Gary Hudson.) 

I also did a self study on assembly 
language of the school computer main¬ 
frame. I learned a lot. Oh, my, did 1 
learn a lot. Did I ever learn a whole 
big amazing lot. About memory parti¬ 
tions; about supervisor control pro¬ 
grams; about how companies really 
ought to think before allowing time- 
share on a formerly batch-only system, 
and the weaknesses that show up 

Rule 7: Sometimes you can learn 
something important. 

Why, I’m shocked to tell you that 
the operating system code for the 
whole shebang becomes a local file if 
you stop a FORTRAN compile from a 
timeshare terminal (which could not 
happen in batch, sec, so they never 
covered that weakness), and can be 
disassembled, and studied, night after 
night, at your room. A bit of study of 
that code is very interesting. Buying 
some 1600 bpi magtapes ($15 each) 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 71 

helps; check them in under a 

You see, that whole ridiculous¬ 
ness of grades, sadly, means you are in 
competition with your classmates. 
Look, the teacher has to give some 
low grades, some high grades, and a 
lot of middle grades, and will invent, if 
necessary, a way to do so (}\kc writing 
programs in class). 

Rule 8; Grades are there only because 
they have to be; even if everyone is ex¬ 
cellent, someone has to get low 
grades, someone has to get high 

I learned about this competition in 
a particularly graphic way: trying to 
get enough computer time to debug my 
programs, in competition with my 
class. When the 50-odd students in my 
class descended on the computer cen¬ 
ter, it could take hours for your pro¬ 
gram to move through the “Input 
Queue” and run once. This made de¬ 
bugging impossible; look, we were 
writing heavy stuff, like assemblers 
and compilers! Many good people 
burned out string up all hours when 
the computer ran somewhat faster. 

Rule 9: Well, in that one way, college 
trained me for real life. 

Unless, of course, you had studied 
the assembly language of the comput¬ 
er’s scheduler, and specified a very 
small memory partition for your pro¬ 
gram; the default size was set wrong. 
The system scheduler was built to “fill 
holes” in computer memory, and small 
partitions were a dream come true for 
the scheduler; it could fit my programs 
in when my classmates, with their 
(huge) 55K Pascal jobs, could not. I 
could typically get in as many runs per 
hour as I could debug (just like using a 
micro), and they’d get one per hour, 
with lots of head-scratching debug¬ 

The system scheduler also had an¬ 
other “feature.” The setup was, it kept 
X users in memory, running their pro¬ 
grams. When you had been in memory 
for 10 seconds, and gotten some CPU 
time, you were “rolled out” to disk 

and left there to rot a long time, be¬ 
hind everybody in the input queue. 
Well... press the BREAK key. The sys¬ 
tem must process your interrupt; it 
asks you if “you’d like to continue” 
(press y, RETURN) or abort (press n, 
REl'URN). Press y,RETURN. Get 
this: Because the system had to proc¬ 
ess your interrupt, you are now back in 
memory, for a new 10 seconds. 

And guess what you do 10 sec¬ 
onds later, and 20, and until your pro¬ 
gram finishes. 

Thank heavens more people didn’t 
figure this out until Finals week when 
the computer lab work was done. 
There is no w^ I could have gotten 
the programs done without this, and 
other tricks. I was very busy, taking 
many classes, trying to make enough 
credits to get out of there. 


The stress of this Aliee-in-Won- 
derland grading really told on the peo¬ 
ple I saw. All their life they had been 
told that grades really meant some¬ 
thing, that an “A” was important. Now 
they were in a situation where an “A” 
was impossible to get, because pro¬ 
grams cannot be written perfectly 
without test runs in an hour or if you 
simply cannot get CPU time to debug 
your hashing algorithm. While other 
things get blamed, ultimately it’s the 
stress that wrecks a lot of people at 
college. (Sure, it’s good preparation 
for life, a boss, taxes, and such; no, 1 
don’t think there is any excuse for it.) 
You really have to find a way to detach 
yourself, and after all the conditioning 
of high school, it’s hard. 

Rule 10: Dealing with stress is prob¬ 
ably the most important thing you will 
learn, or fail to learn, to do at college. 

One girl I knew overdosed acei- 
dentally in college from trying too 
hard for grades; the only reason she 
started was to find some way to relax 
and get aw^ from the stress. (She 
eventually pulled through, but her life 
was changed forever. At least she’s not 
in college anymore.) It’s a bit dilficult 
for me to be Judgmental anymore sinee 
I learned that stress is far more likely 

to kill you, and kill you young, than 
anything else. And I’ve found far, far, 
far, far more “recreational” and 
“fairly necessary” “substance use” in 
the computer industry than I ever saw 
in college; if one person chooses the 
“legit” Prozac route and another a, 
well, different route to handle life 
working at some well known computer 
companies. I’m not going to hand them 
flyers about “Just Say No.” Stress 

Now that I’ve depressed you 
about the futility of college, let me tell 
you what it’s realty for. 

College places you in conditions 
somewhat eloscr to real life, e.g., 
combat, requiring discipline and disas¬ 
sembly (grin) to get through, and pre¬ 
pares you for what you’re going to find 
when you graduate. What a “degree” 
is really about is that a corporation 
knows you can hang in there for four 
years of dorm food and lousy working 
conditions, so you might survive the 
corporation for the two years you are a 
drain to them while you learn the 
ropes. Nothing more, but nothing less. 

Rule 11: This means, of course, the 
brightest and best, who won’t put up 
with losing four years to essentially a 
stress test, never go to college. Woznl- 
ak went to college after making Apple 
a huge success. 

There are some good sides to col¬ 
lege, and if you work at them, you can 
almost handle having to be there. (Pri¬ 
mal scream therapy can be helpful and 
is often conducted at “football 

There are some fine young 
women with this certain ... look ... in 
their eyes, who go to lots of parties 
and out on dates. I remember one 
named Mindy at my school. Curiously 
enough, about second or third year, 
they appear sporting an engagement 
ring, and leave school to get married. 
This is done so often it is called “Get¬ 
ting a degree in M.R.S.,” and is the 
first time I knew what a deer feels like 
on opening day of hunting. You want 
to talk about being eyed for husband 
material. I’ll tell you about it. 

Page 72 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

Rule 12. Some things cost some too 

Rule 13: Everyone wishes they’d dated 
more in college. 

Rule 14: Everyone forgets how terrify¬ 
ing it is to ask/be asked for a date. 

You may find for the first time in 
your life that there are a lot of people 
whom you get along with, especially if 
you’re one of the lonelier personality 
types (NF, NT), who are 1 in 10 out¬ 
side of college. College particularly 
concentrates NT’s, into computers, ar¬ 
chitecture, and science. Computer 
people take note of this! 

With any luck, you’ll take the hint 
from the fun you had talking with 
these people, in the late-night sessions, 
and work somewhere where there are 
more of them. 

(I believe online networks are the 
best we can do for many people in lo¬ 
cations aw^ from the centers.) 

Well, That’s One Way to Do It 

So what happened to me? 1 spent 
the first couple of years fumbling 
through until I steadied into a career of 
independent studies and an absolute 
minimum of the required classes, 
which I thought were useless. (This 
proved correct; mainframe theory ain’t 
that useful these d^s). 1 tried living in 
the dorms for a year, got tired of the 
food, and lived with a couple of girls 
the next year; (well, they were friends 
and needed a third roommate to pay 
the rent). This is highly over-rated in a 
one bathroom apartment; however, 
th^ more or less housebroke me. 
(“You will clean the soap rings out of 
the bathtub.” ) Amazingly, we’re all 
still friends; one is now a programmer, 
one is in England with two little girls 
and her Air Force officer. 

And I grew to appreciate dorm 
food; it’s plain, but there’s plenty of it. 
Don’t be too quick to move out; Com 
Flakes for dinner is the pits. 

And, through a friend, I met this 
fascinating woman named Sandy Hei- 

dlebaugh in my dorm, who had read 
the same books I had and who had no 
limits on her dreams and who knew 
where Mordor was and her name in 
Elvish. It’s still carved in the rocks up 
the reservoir in the mountains. 

The second two years of college 
were spent around Sandy. Nothing else 
mattered as much. Computers? Be se¬ 
rious. I learned a lot about living day 
to day with someone, getting through 
arguments and surviving, and in gen¬ 
eral, we both lost a number of irritat¬ 
ing qualities. That was the most im¬ 
portant thing I did in college, by far. 

Rule 15: There Is no finer place to 
“meet someone” than college, which is 
essentially a concentrate of people 
you’re looking to meet. Sure saves 
kissing a lot of frogs. 

And then it was over; we gradu¬ 
ated ... and I chased Sandy enough 
that she finally caught me. 

That’s one way to do it. Try to 
make one uniquely your own. 

Sec you next time! 

Current Notes ST Library - New Disks for September 

0730: ORCS: Otto’s Resource Construction Set, Ver¬ 
sion 1.0, Copyright (c) by Th. Otto. (See ST Toolbox 
column in this month’s issue.) 

073ID: Cyber Animations: Here are three impressive 
animations to amaze and impress your friends: Gun- 
ship, Lamp, Vidibat Includes animation player. All 
files compressed. (Color) 

0732: Music Studio Demo for the Roland MT-32, by 
the Atari Users of N.Texas. Compiled by Marcus Ar- 
reguin 6/92. You will recognize many of the 27 songs 
on this disk. They are configured to take full advan¬ 
tage of your Roland MT-32. This demo requires a col¬ 
or monitor. But those of you who only have a mono¬ 
chrome monitor may play the songs back on a Music 
Studio player. 

«733: dbWRITER (M). Version 1.8 of the mono¬ 
chrome word processor now has support for the the¬ 
saurus (available on CN U734D). Full featured ST text 
processor features spell check with the 40,000 word 
dbWRITER dictionary (CN 07340), search and re¬ 
place, custom printer drivers, page preview, mail 
merge, text block options, columns, custom interface 
and more! Requires a minimum one meg of memory. 

0734D: dbWRITER Dictionary/Thesaurus (M). db¬ 
WRITER 40K word dictionary and 30K word thesau¬ 

rus desk accessory (can be used from any GEM pro¬ 
gram). dbWRITER Desk Accesory Suplemental Dic¬ 
tionary Creation Utility and the seven supplemental 
dictionaries: Math, Biblical, Computer, Legal, Medical, 
Names, Pharmaceutical. 

0735D: Terminal Programs: FreeZe Dried Software 
Terminal V2.20, shareware by Aaron Hopkins. AN- 
SITerm, Shareware by Timothy Miller Version 1.5. 
**7360: Games (C): Moonlord ST, shareware by Clay¬ 
ton Wannum; Munchie VI.0, shareware by Robert 
Dytmire; and Drachen Chineze puzzle game (English 

tt737D: Arena Earth (C). Win over your opponent by 
catching him in traps or by direct confrontation. In¬ 
cluded documentation explains how to play. Shareware 
by Tim Basham. 

7381): TW Fonts «l: 42 (ARCd) fonts for That’s 
Write: Avantgard, Anticap, Antiknp,... Karin. 

739D: TW Fonts **2: 32 (ARCd) fonts for That’s 
Write: Keltic, Kinder,... Yuppie, Zapf. 

Disks are $4.00 each (10-t- are $3.5 ea). Order from 
CN Library 
122 N Johnson Rd 
Sterling, VA 20164. 

(703) 450-4761. 

VISA and MC orders accepted. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 73 

Current Notes ST Game Library 

Here is a complete catalog of game disks available in the CN Library of shareware and PD disks. We have completed a thorough 
review of our game library, combining many SS disks into DS disks and eliminating marginal games. The m^ority of these disks 
are now DS and, since CN disk prices remain only $4.00 per disk, represent exceptional bargains. Remember, disks are only 
$350 each in quantities of 10 or more. Stock up on some terrific game software at very economical prices. Note: see the list of 
new disks introduced this month for more additions to our game library. 

ATARTREK - Atari Trek 
BATTSHIP - Battleship 
KRABAT - chess game from Germany 
MAZEMAKR - Maze Maker 
ORIGADV - a text adventure 
POOLMONO - pool game with 6 balls 
PUZZLE - PuzziePuzzie. a labyrinth in which you 
move forward by completing each of several puz4es 
WINDOW - Window Ball (like breakout) 

HACK - One of the earliest adventure games 
EAMON - Eamon adventures (Beginner's (^e. 
Devil's Tomb. Eamon Death Star. Holy Grail. 

#209D: GAMES (C) 

DARTS - Dart game written In GEA BASIC. 
G_RANGER - Galactic Ranger arcade game. 
MILBORNE - Classic card/race game 
NIM - GEM-based version of NIM 
STVEGAS - Four games In one! (Poker, Roulette. 
Black Jack, and Slots) 

TRUCKER - Text based game, get your loaded 18 
wheeler to it's destination on time. 

#211D: KID GAMES (C) 

BARNYARD - Tiffany’s Barnyard, by Frank Hund¬ 
ley. Animals are hidden behind the doors. As in Con¬ 
centration just find both pictures of each animal. 
DLXPIANO - Deluxe Piano provides a nice step 
up from KIDNOTES. 

DOODLE - one of the first drawing programs out 
for the ST but It Is very easy to use. 

KIDNOTES - Kid Notes allows a child to select 
from a list of songs Oust click on the appropriate pic¬ 
ture) and then play that song by clicking the mouse 
on the red key on the displayed piano keyboard. 
KIDSKETC - Kid Sketch, a very simplified drawing 
program for the younger kids. 

KIDMUSIC > Kid Music, click on one of 8 pictures 
and here a little song play. 

KIDPIANO - Kid Piano, a simplified keyboard for 
young kids. Click on the notes and here a piano or 
organ play. 

KIDPOTATO - Kid Potato, put together your own 
Mr Potato Head. 

KIDMIXUP - Kid Mixup. presents 4 pictures that 
tell a story when placed in 8ie proper sequence. 
KIDSABC > A^’s teaches the Alphabet Song 

MEGAROID - Megaroids the Asteroids clone 
RUNNER - Arcade game, pick up treasures while * 
running from bad guys. Press button to dig hole (but 
don't fall into it yourself!) Kill off pursuers by leading 
them into the hole you dug. Get ail the treasurers 
and move to higher level. 

SPACEWAR - Fight a Klingnon cruiser in the 
heavy gravity near a star. 

SQUIXX - Try to wall as much of the playing area 

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KRABAf2 CHESS from CN #213 

as possible while avoiding the gobbling creatures and 
the spikes. 

ADVENT - Adventure writing system. 

DALEKS - A variation of Robotron, avoid getting 
caught by robots. 

KRABAT2 - German Chess game with English 

STOCKS - Version 2 of Stocks and Bonds board 

BREAKOU - Breakout clone ACC game. 

ELIM - Shareware card game. 

REVERSI - Othello Clone ACC game. 

CRIBBAGE - play the computer in Cribbage. 
DRAWPOKR - Game of draw poker.(C/M) 
MEGAMA11 - Mega Ma 2 e 1.1 is an adventure 
maze of sorts. (C/M) 

ANDURIL - Anduril game 
BALLER - Ballerburg 
DIAMOND - Diamond Miner 
INVADERS - Invaders game 
SNAFU - The Snafu Principle 
MONOEMU - Monochrome Emulator Program, al¬ 
lows you to run mono programs on a color monitor. 

#2970: GAME DEMOS (C) 

ACS - Amazing Construction Set. a drawing and 
maze generation program, demo v1.01 lets you draw 
shapes that the computer turns into ma 2 es. 
SHANGDEM - Nice demo of Shanghai puzzle 
HERO - Graphic adventure game. 

#313D: GAMES (C) 

AZARIAN - Beta version of a space shoot ’em up 
game. Low-Res. 

DGDB - Das Grosse Deutsche Ballerspiel. German 
game similar to Shamus on the 8-bit system. 
SORRY - Computer version of the board game. 
ZOLTAR - Arcade game similar to Gaiaxian. Define 
your own alien ships, flight paths, speed. 

#314D: GAMES (C) 

BULLET - Pilot your train fast enough to avoid 
pushing train while watching out tor dead-end tracks 
and box cars blocking your way. No Mega. 
DAMONOID - The Damonoid arcade game. No 

#316D: GAMES (C) 

CASINO KEN0 1.0 faithfully simulates keno 
games in Nevada, allowing the player to mark on a 
keno card up to 15 numbers out of 80. 

#326D: GAMES (C) 

BATSHIP - Battleship, play against the computer 
CLOWNS - Monkeys and Balloons clone. 
COREWARS - Core Wars (knowledge of assem¬ 
bly language programming recommended). 
ESCAPE - Escape (adventure type maze). 
FUN_LAWS - just for reading 
INVADERS - Space Invaders for the ST. 

#348D: GAMES (C) 

A_SMASH - Atom Smasher, a breakout clone. 
BLOCKADE - Alien Blockade, a Qix clone. 
FLY_ROCM - Companion I, interesting arcade 

DPOKER - Draw Poker. 

HAUNTED - Haunted House, arcade game demo. 
TRIVIA - Trivia Quest. 

BLASTERC - a Defender clone. 

#356D: GAMES (C) 

B0GGLE12 - Cadenza Bog Version 1.2, Boggle 
clone with dictionary. 

BOLO - A super game from Germany that is a 
cross between Breakout and Arkanoid.(C/M) 
EXTENSOR - This game is based on the movie 
TRON. spedficially the "LIGHT CYCLE’ Sequence. 
You are in a light cycle. As you (and the computer 
controlled drones) move along you build a wall be¬ 
hind you. Hit your wall, or the drones wall and you 
die! The option of the game is to box in the drone or 
drones while at the same time avoiding getting boxed 
in or hitting a wall yourself. If you get the other 
drones boxed in until they run into a wall you win! 


HERO - HERO! V 1.0, by Dan Winslow. The beauti¬ 
ful Princess Pulchra has been taken captive by the 
really naughty wizard Baldur. The King wants her 
back, and you being a real Hero, have determined 
that you will rescue her. in order to do this, you must 
find your way to the lowest section of the dungeon 
and find the room containing the princess. 

MIDWAY - Midway Battles, by Walter & Carol La 
Foret. This is a complex game simulating the battle 
of Midway but the mechanics of play are easy to 
grasp. All input is done with the mouse; you never 
touch the keyboard. The system requirements are an 
Atari 1050ST. 540ST. Optional, an opponent, snacks, 
and a book on the Battle of Midway. 

RACE02 - Bermuda Race II. The objective is to 
sail from Newport. Rhode Island to Bermuda in the 
jeast amount of time. The normal sea-going obsta¬ 
cles may be encountered. The player reaching Ber¬ 
muda in the least total time wins the race and may 
be listed in the players hall-of-fame. 

Page 74 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

DUDLEY - A Dudley Dillema. You are a Harvard 
Univ. student living in Dudley House in a quest for 
knowledge, adventure and a diploma. This award¬ 
winning game is a very clever, humorous and chal¬ 
lenging adventure in the classic style of Infocom. 
TARK - "ferk is the Priestess of the first church, in 
her battle against the demon of dark desire. Based 
on Dungeons and Dragons theme. 

RAPTURE - Love’s Fiery Rapture, a torrid tale of 
what could turn out to be the perfect date, a parody 
of romance novels. (R) 

SUSAN - Susan. A Lustful Game, is an adults- 
only R-rated game where you attempt to score 
points with your girl friend. Susan. (R) 

RING - Des Ring Des Nibelungen. Vbu play the role 
of Siegfried in an adventure based on the operas of 
Richard Wagner, complete with a very tender and lov¬ 
ing Brunnhilde. A very unusual approach to an ad¬ 
venture game. 

PORK - A parody of the Infocom game of ZORK. If 
you were ever frustrated by ZORK. playing this game 
is your chance to enjoy the sweet fruits of revenge. 


AGT - The Adventure Game Ibolkit. This is a share¬ 
ware product that lets you construct your own adven¬ 
ture games. Complete docs included. 

SOURCE - The source code to 9 additional AGT 
adventures: Colossal Cave Adventure. Crusade. Elfs 
Adventure. A Fable. Ghost Town, Paranoia, Odieu’s 
Quest. The Squynchia Adventure, An Underground 

#373: GAMES (C) 

STRIP - Strip Breal^t. breakout game although 
the paddle is on the right side of the screen and the 
ball bounces horizontally. As the bricks are elimi¬ 
nated. the picture underneath is gradually revealed. 
When ail the bricks are gone, a new screen, with a 
new picture, is drawn. 27 screens in all. Adults only. 


BBALLSIM - Vbrsion 2.00D, (Demo version), of a 

baseball simulation game. The American PaSTime 

Baseball Simulator provides a rich and accurate 
simulation of the game of baseball, from the view¬ 
point of the manager. Results are based on the actual 
statistics of the players entered; variation from reality 
will be approximately the same as the actual variation 
players experience in real life. It is possible to play a 
fully managed game in 10-15 minutes, or as many 
automatic games as you like in less than a minute 
each. Thus, it is very ea^ with this system (including 
the input and statistics programs) to play entire sea¬ 
sons. using either real, drafted, or imaginary teams, 
comparing the long term strength of teams, testing 
theories of lineups, pitching, and so on. This demo 
version has all features implemented with the excep¬ 
tion of the save data feature. Thus players do not ac¬ 
cumulate data from game to game with this version 
as they do on the real version. (C/M) 

BASEBALL - Statistically Accurate Baseball is a 
shareware product that, like the game above, let's 
you simulate a baseball game. (C/M) 

TAIRANII - Trave the world during early 1800s and 
trade in different items and cities as you engage in 
combat with enemy ships. (C). 

EMPIRE - A collection of all of the maps for Em¬ 
pire we have been able to find, over 120 maps in all. 
DUNGEON - Having trouble solving Dungeon 
Master? Here are the maps that will help you. 

BREAKOUT - Super Breakout. A very nice varia¬ 
tion of Breakout with an editor. 

PENTIMO - terrific puzde that will provide you 
with hours of entertainment. Place 12 pieces in box! 
100-f solutions. 

MACRAN1 - As its name implies. MacPan is a Pdc- 
Man done. 

#426D: MEAN 18 COURSES (C) 

11 new and exciting golf courses for use with Mean 
18: Stumpy Lake, Oval Creek, Bow Creek. Oceana. 

Red Wing, Castle. Lee Park. Kapuia. Lunar Link, 

Short Course (best short holes in USA), and Great¬ 
est (18 in US). 

#428D: GAMES (C) 

ECO - Fascinating ecology animation game. 
ORBIT - Terrific break-out type game. (Not with 
TOS 1.4.) 

rocket - Rocket Patrol, a Missile Command 

TRIFIDE - Gaiactica/Space Invaders type clone 
#429: GAMES (C) 

BLOCKADE - Alien Blockade, a QIX clone that 
will keep you occupied for a long time! 

A—SMASHER - Atom Smasher, another break¬ 
out type arcade game. 

#431: KID GAMES 

KP_DEMO - Kidpubllsher Prof Demo, a desktop 
publishing program for young writers, by D.A. Brum- 
leve, for Ages 5-11. The program provides a what- 
you-see-is-what-you-get text editor and a draw¬ 
ing program. Each drawing is linked to a page of 
text When printed, each page has a drawing on the 
top half of the page with tiie text below it. The pro¬ 
gram works well with most dot-matrix, jet, and laser 
printers. (Printing disabled in demo version.) 
KIDPUB21 - An earlier, less fancy version of Kid 

KSHAPES - Kid Shapes, for ages 2-8. 
KSHAPESP - Kid Shapes Plus, for kids 8 and up. 


TETRIS - popular falling blocks game. 

MPOKER - Drav Poker, V25, try your luck at 

DRACHEN - Dragon, a German version of Shang¬ 

SOKOBAN - This is a graphically simple, but in¬ 
tellectually interesting little puzzle game. Includes 42 
different puzzle screens. 

MINIGOLF - Put-put golf game from Germany 
PBMCHESS - Play-by-modem chess game 
GILGALAD - Adventure game from Germany 
GNCIPHER - Cipher program, try and guess solu¬ 

#463D: GAME DEMOS (C) 

BLODWYCH - Fully-playable "Dungeon Master" 
game by Mirrorsoft. Includes split-screen for two- 
player simultaneous action. The demo includes only 
level one of the castle and has no sound. 
J3LOODMON - Blood Money, horizontally scrolling 
shoot-em up. 

WIPEOUT - Intergalactic Hoverboard Challenge 
pits you against a host of hostile aliens. 

FONEVOIE - Phone Voice, create crazy messages 
for your telephone answering machine! 

#478D: GAMES (C) 

RGHTER - The STellar Sferfighter (arcade action) 
FLIGHT - Flight Levels (more arcade action) 
JUMPSTER-Q-Bert done 
LUNACY11 - Lunacy! Vl.l, (no IDS 1.4) 
SPACEWAR - SpaceWars VI.0, New Outer Space 
Shoot ’em up game. 


HEROIID - Demo version of Hero II gaming sys¬ 
tem includes Dungeon Construction Set. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 75 

SWIFTAR - Limited featured demo version, 3 out 
of 10 levels are active and will test your skills to the 
full, at least for 5 games. 

#500D: GAME DEMOS (C) 

STARBLAD - Starblade demo may not work on a 
Mega or with TOS 1.4. It works fine on a 1040 ST. 
YOLANDA - you get to see a lot of screens, but as 
soon as you die. and that will be quickly, a brand new 
screen is shown. It will take some practice to master 
screens since you don't see the same screen every 
time your character is eliminated. 

RICK ~ Rick Dangerous should also present a real 

#502D: GAME DEMOS (C) 

PHOTON - Photon Storm. 

AQUANAUT - Aquanaut. 

GLOVES - Kid Gloves. 

FUTURE2 - Back to the Future. 

#505D: KID GAMES (C) 

MOUNTAIN - This adventure game was designed 
by grade school students, illustrated using Kidpainter, 
and programmed with Talespin The game takes you 
inside a magic mountain where you'll have the op¬ 
portunity to fend off a vicious dragon, pacify a giant 
spider, etc. in your effort to make your way through. 
TELLTALE - This is the pd run-time program to 
run .TAL files generates with lalespin, the adventure 
creator from Michtron. 

SDI - Stranded on a Desert Island offers you any of 
10 characters with different skills and weaknesses. 
Choose a character, then use his special qualities to 
help him get through a series of unpleasant tropical 
experiences and reach the rescue ship. 

TADS - The Text Adventure Development System is 
a programming tool for building sophisticated, pro¬ 
fessional-quality text adventure games. The system 
consists of a compiler, a run-time module, a stand¬ 
ard adventure definitions file, and the source to Ditch 
Day Drifter, a full sample game demonstrating the 
system’s mary features. Req 1 Meg of RAM. 

DITCH - Ditch Day Drifter is a text adventure set at 
Caltech on its infamous Ditch Day. This game is a 
sample of what you can do with TADS 
DSD - Deep S^ce Drifter is a science-fiction text 
adventure of Epic Proportions. Find your way off the 
space station and explore the planet belc^. Visit the 
Swamp and the Caves. Defeat your mechanical foe 
and escape with your life. Written with TADS, the Text 
Adventure Development System, this game features a 
professional-quality command parser and many ad¬ 
vanced features. 

#513D: Text Adventures 
DSENCHNT - Disenchanted, an interactive fan¬ 

EB_CITY - El Bozo’s City Out Of Bounds 
KING - Once a King 
SYSTEMS - System 5 

#525D: GAMES (C) 

GRAN PRIX - auto race arcade game. 

#532D: GAMES (C) 

STARTREK - STDS variation of the Star Trek 
game. This game will NOT run on machines with TOS 
1.4 installed! 

\(ALGUS20 - Valgus V2.0, a 2-player version of 
the Tetris - done game. 

MINER - Maniac Miner lets you explore for under¬ 
ground treasures, but watch out for rock slides and 
other obstacles. 

#633D: GAMES (C) 

COLLAPSE - Collapse (V1.1) is a falling block 
game of the Tetris family but different You must try 
to line up 3 or more block in rows vertically. hori2Dn- 
tally, or diagonally. When this happens, block evapo¬ 
rate and columns collapse downward. The game 
speeds up a little faster so over all games are slightly 
shorter and more difficult, but bonus points are given 
for large numbers of block knockouts. 

YAHTZE20 - YAHTZEE V2i) is a slightly enhanced 
upgrade of YAHTZEE 1.0.1 changed all game prompts 
from keyboard to mouse and added the system date 
to the player name for use in the high score file. This 
is an excellent 1-6 player game that faithfully recre¬ 
ates the classic game Triple Vbchtzee. 

JEOPARDY - Welcome to the PD color version of 
Jeopardy for the Atari ST This program has been 
written and revised to give the players an excellent 
experience in testing their knowledge and a simula¬ 
tion of being a contestant on the real show. 
VSQUARED - VblgusZ, the sequel to \^lgus. a pd 
version of Tetris. In VSQ, the 7 familiar Valgus pieces 
are back, but they are tired of failing straight dcwn 
the screen! Instead, they will come at you from ail 
four sides of the 27x27 playing area. 

PILEUP31 - PileUp V3.1, the latest version of this 
Tetris done has several features and is compatible 
with TOS 1.4.10 game levels, 2 skill levels. 
STTETRIS - another Tetris done 

#534D: GAMES (C) 

HACMANll - Pacman clone with lots of new fea¬ 

KV^DDUP - This is an animated math program 
for youngsters. Choose what operations (+,-,xy) 
you want. Then choose the difficulty. Then begin! 
KV_FONIC - This program introduces children to 
phonics, it includes 9 puzzles containing conso¬ 
nants (b.c.d...). blends (sl 3 and digraphs 
(th,sh...). You can easily create your own puzzles or 
modify the existing ones. 

KV_GEO_1 - Hypertext georgraphy. learn about 
the solar system. 

KV_MATCH - Flip over squares to match baby 
and parent animals. 

KV_ME1ST - Me First. V2.0. Interactive learning 
games/stories for children. Includes documentation 
and additional DAIA files for extended play. 
(C)KV_ME2ND - A sequel to the first program, 
this package contains an additional 24 stories. 

#536D: KID GAMES (C) 


#537D: KID GAMES (C) 

AIKEN6 - Entirely mouse-controlled. MaWn’ 

Aiken is an illustrated version of the silly kids' song 
"Aiken Drum." It has 8 verses in which Aiken’s body 

parts are described (His hair was made of_); the 

child selects a picture icon for the blank (green 
beans, brocoili. etc.). A picture of Aiken is progres¬ 
sively displayed. 3 choices for each of 8 parts make 
for many silly versions of Aiken. 

KIDMIXPL - Kidmixup Plus is a kidprg by D.A. 
Brumieve (Basic Vbrsion) and Ph. van Rijthoven (Plus 
Version). The "plus" Is that you can new add your 
own sequence files created with any DE6AS-com- 
patible paint program. Three picture files by the au¬ 
thors (a total of 27 sequence themes) are included 
with this program. 

PRFMATCH - Originally a commercial program. 
Perfect Match is new shareware. For 1 to 4 players, 
you can choose from 8.16, or 24 cards. Select a 
question, cards are shuffled and dealt. Player selects 
two cards with mouse and tries to find a match. Turn 
continues as long as player keeps finding matches. 
Game ends when all matches have been discovered 
or the timer runs out in 1 player game. 

LET_HUNT - learn alphabet by matching letters 
on the screen. 

ENCH_FOR - Enchanted Forest, a variant of 
both Shutes and Ladders and Candyland. suitable for 
children 3 and above. 

#539D: GAME DEMOS p 
FLIMBO - Rimbo's Quest. This is a one level 
playable demo of Flimbo’s Quest, a platform type 
game with excellent graphics and parallax scrolling. 
DEFEND - Defender II. a one level playable demo. 
The complete game gives you a choice of playing the 
original Defender, the original Stargate, or the new 
Defender II. Unless you are an ace arcade Defender 
player, this playable demo will give you hours of play¬ 
ing pleasure. 

RALLY - Toyota Rally. This is a one course playable 
demo of probably the best drivingAacing game yet 
for the ST. it features excellent graphics and digitized 
sound. Even the weather turns bad as it starts to 
snow when you begin the demo. 

#540D: GAME DEMOS (C) 

SIMULCRA - Demo of a very cool UK game called 
Simulcra. Arcade type, you are this "tank" and you 
drive around a "3-D" map, blowing things away and 
getting enhanced weapons. 

SPELLDEM - This is a one level playable demo of 
Spellbound by Psygnosis. It is a platform/collecting 
type game. Nice graphics! 

9LIVES - This is playable one level demo of 9 
LIVES. It is a platform type game with excellent 
graphics and animation. Not an easy game! 

#542D: KID GAMES (C) 

CREBUS4 - Rebus Writer allows the user to de¬ 
sign and print rebuses, a kind of code in which pic¬ 
tures and symbols are used to represent words. Both 
color and mono versions provided. Note: the folder 
MREBUS4 has a monochrome version of this pro¬ 

WUZZLERS - This game is a picture/puzzle game 
somewhat like hangman. You are shown a number of 
spaces representing the letters in a mystery word. 

Page 76 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 


Choose from the letters of the alphabet to guess the 
letters in the word. With each incorrect guess, part of 
a picture depicting the word is displayed Mdu must 
try and guess the word before the entire puzzfe pic* 
ture is revealed. 

KIDSTORY - Remember ’Little Red Riding 
Hood"? Mere is that story with an entirely new twist. 
The child selects a number of different objects before 
the story starts. These objects will then customue 
the story into a very different tale! Kids will have a lot 
of fun creating their ’own* stories. A different story is 
created every time the program is run! 

#543D: GAMES 

MIDIMAZE - MIDI-MAZE II. VIA is similar to the 
original MIDI-MAZE program that allowed up to 16 
players to play against each other by linking their 
Atari STs via the MIDI ports. (C/M) 

AKS - Alfreds Kistenlager Schiebereien, provides 
you with hours of challenging puzzles. The rules are 
simple: With the arrow keys, you control a worker 
who must shove barrels around a warehouse and 
place them in the proper locations.(M) 

DREISSIG - a high-quality game of skill and 
judgment distributed as shareware. ’Dreissig' is the 
German word for the number 30. Dreissig is a dice 
game for 1-6 players. In the single-player mode the 
computer takes the role of the opponent.(M) 

#547D: KID GAMES (C) 

PUZZLE - Electronic Jigsaw Puzzle, use program 
to scramble (in 25.64. or 100 pieces) your favorite 
Neo. Degas, or Tiny pictures. Includes 14 Tiny pic¬ 
tures selected for their puzzle playability. 

7KIDS -The Wolf and the Seven Kids provides a dif¬ 
ferent adventure each game. 

BARNIMAL - A listening guessing game for the 
very youngest computer users. 

#550D: GAMES (C) 

STRABBLE - Similar to crossword game Scrab¬ 
ble, although, in this version, you can play against 
the computer (C/M) 

NOVA - brilliant shoot-*em-up arcade game, simi¬ 
lar to Galaxian 

#567D: GAME DEMOS (C) 

HERO! - Game features hundreds of items and 
creatures, and o^r 200 rooms to explore. Other fea¬ 
tures are multiplayer mode, modem play, macro lan¬ 
guage customization, full color backgrounds, real 
time battle system, and a rich and complex character 
development facility, text saeens as well as graphics, 
many spells, and other features to numerous to men¬ 
tion here, the demo comes with excerpts from the 
game documentation, and ordering information is 
available at the end of the document file. 

#558D: GAMES (C) 

AMAZE - Dear the playground from the squares, 
but don't jump aside.(C/M) 

DRKCASTL - Dark Castle, a board game that re¬ 
quires at least 2 players, with a maximum of 4. 
DUNG306 - V3.06 of Daniel's Dungeon! a maze 
game that you must graduate to win the game! This 
is playable demo mode and password protected to 
get FULL mode (C/M) 

REACTION - This game takes after the Arcade 

game AIAXX and is very hard to bead Great strategy 
game! STE and ST Compatible. Should run on 512K 
ST with no problem. 

SUPRMIND - Super Mastermind. You use logic to 
determine the computer’s hidden code. 

#560D: OfTHERWUZ (C) 

OTHERWUZ - This program will not run from a 
hard disk. Wuzzlers is a hangman game with a twist: 
a picture hint is displayed with each wrong answer, 
thus increasing the chances for success. This file 
contains program and a data file with nearly 50 pic- 
ture/word puzzles for the game. The .PRG file is the 
same as that included with CN library disk #542. but 
the pictures on this disk were designed by German 
computer artist Juergen Reichenwallner. Words ap¬ 
propriate for 2nd grade through adult. 


BUGST - This is a one level playable demo of Bug 
Bash. You must clear the level of all trash. Collect 
trash by pulling down on the joystick and pressing 
fire. Only one piece of trash can be carried at a time. 
Fly over the trash can to drop trash. Use your insecti¬ 
cide gun to kill enemies and watch out for the end of 
level guardian! 

MSTDRIVE - This Is a 2-level playable demo of 
Jupiter's Masterdrive. When the light turns green, ac¬ 
celerate by pressing fire. You can shoot the opposi¬ 
tion by pushing up on the joystick. It is a three-lap 
race in all. On the second level, collect the ten bo¬ 
nuses before your competitor. Use the radar at the 
base of the screen to plan your journey. 

POND - This is a one mission playable demo of 
James Pond. You must gather 8 gold bars from the 
wreck of a large, sunken ship. You must take each 
bar to the waiting row boat somewhere on the sur¬ 
face of the sea. Be careful though, as the shipwreck 
is lodged in a deep, dark underwater cavern with 
many monsters and meanies out to get you. Excel¬ 
lent graphics and gameplay! 

CAPTIVE - Playable demo of Captive. An excellent 
futuristic game with the Dungeon Master mouse- 
view type gameplay. See the Captive topic for de¬ 
scriptions on game play and so on. 


(c) 1991, Kesmai Corporation. This version of Air 
Warrior has undergone very stringent testing between 
the different computers (Macintosh, Atari ST, Amiga, 
and IBM PC) to ensure that the flight performance of 
the different planes is the same. 

#574D: GAMES 

SEASIDE - Here is a terrific which, like Concentra¬ 
tion, will test your memory against that of your oppo¬ 
nent. Try and match up the sea creatures and make 
pairs to gain points. Many game variations included. 
DRACHEN - \/2.0, is derived from an old game 
from China. 144 tiles are built up on 5 levels on the 
playing surface. The goal is to remove all the tiles. To 
that end, one may remove any two matching tiles, as 
long as each of them is free to move either to its left 
or to its right (that is, there is no other tile "in the 
way’ of the movement of each matching tile]. 
COLAWARS - By David Jolley, requires joystick. 
Double-click on COLAWARS.SCK in GEM desktop if 
you have booted from this disk. 

SPLATTER - Patterned after ’Reaction,’ provides 
more of an alternative for more players with a few 
more options of play due to the increase in players. 
Try and outwit your opponents by being the person 
with the most tiles at the end of the game. 
SPACEJET - simple arcade game with space 

VALGUS2 - VS, in VSQ, the seven familiar Vbigus 
pieces as back, but they are tired of falling straight 
down the screen! Instead, they will come at you from 
all four sides of the 25x25 playing area. In the 
graphics are much better; the pieces are larger and 
more colorful: sound is much better. New, more chal¬ 
lenging rounds have been added. 

MAH-JONG - This demo copy of the Mah-Jong 
game, a Shanghai clone, contains a solvable example 
of each of the layouts. The complete game will pro¬ 
vide an infinite number of games, all different! The 
purpose of the game is to remove all the blocks, by 
pairs, in 'record' time. 

PIPEMANA - Easy! Stick a joystick in port 2 and 
play. Three levels are playable up to a certian time 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 77 

limit. Place the pipes around the screen to make the 
maximum pipe length for the ever-ftowing flooz 
coming down the pipe. (C) 

WORDBID - Here is a fun and educational game. 
Bid on letters as the word platform decends closer to 
its doom. Graphics, sound, color. 

BJP3DEM - This unique program simulates a real 
casino environment. Explore every aspect of the 
game of blackjack. More than just another game, this 
program can show you why you have lost in the past 
and teach you to WIN in the future. 

DEBUT - A short “sneak preview’ of this new 
planet simulation game. Not playable, only teases 
you with what is coming. 

#582D: GAMES (C) 

DAMOCLES - Damocles is the latest release from 
Novagen and it is a brilliantly absorbing game with 
high speed, solid 3D graphics. Erin is the fifth planet 
in the Gamma solar system, and in a few hours it is 
going to be smashed to pieces by the giant comet. 
Damocles. Your task is to fly to the planets in the so¬ 
lar system, search any cities you discover for objects 
and clues and utimately, save Erin from impending 
destruction. With nine planets and 19 moons there is 
much to explore and many places to visit 
LLAMATRON - An excellent Robotron-type 
game from Europe. This is the 1 MB version. 

BACKQAMM - Online backgammon for the mono 
monitor lets you play over the phone lines with a 
friend and a modem. Yau can a)so play against the 
computer or setup custom games. Freevirare. 
BLOECKE - This is a 3D Tetris game In German. 
Don't worry, you can figure out the comands easy 
enough. You need to use the arrow keys to direct the 
3d blocks. Also you can select what rate of speed 
you want them to go at. (C/M) 

CRISCROS - Crisscross is a hybrid of GO. GO- 
MUKU and OTHELLO. Great for kid’s! Incorporates 
the ZeST interface for a NeXT desktop look and feel. 
DAME - Renaissance (DAME) is a German game of 
checkers. The game is inGerman but if you know 
how to play checkers, playing the game is as simple 
as pointing and dragging your piece to the square 
you want to move to. You can play against another 
person or the computer. You can even autoplay to 
see strategic moves. This file contains an editor as 
well. Quite a nice game. 

GOBANG - A game of GOMOKU brought to you by 

POKERSQR - If you like solitaire and you enjoy 
poker, then you're gonna love Poker Squared. Runs 
on any ST. Uses the ZeST interface for the NeXT 
desktop look. Freeware. 

PONG - Pong is a game that gives you a choice 
between handball or breakout. Requires a joystick, 
which adds a difficulty that you do not have with the 

SBREAK - This is a super breakout game that 
brings you through various levels allowing you to 
capture different options such as guns, a larger pad¬ 
dle. multiple balls and much much more. 
ZESTPOKR - Here is another demo using the 
ZeST interface (NeXT look-a-like). This game gives 
you draw poker, high card and a one armed bandit. 

#593D: GAMES (C) 

BLOECKE » This is a 3D 'fetris game in German. 
Don't worry, you can figure out the comands easy 
enough. You need to use the arrow keys to direct the 
3d blocks. Also you can select what rate of speed 
you want them to go at. (C/M) 

BOING - An excellent arcade game. It is very ad¬ 
dictive and has excellent graphics. 

DMLTN_13 - This is Demolition Man 13, a new 
version of the puzzle game by Clayton Walnum. 
Changes in this version include: squares can be 
marked with question marks as well as flags; Degas- 
format screen has been replaced with smaller data 
files; Program no longer bombs when graphic data 
file is missing. One of those games that takes a 
minute to learn but a long time to master, Demolition 
Man is great for a quick diversion. (C/M) 

FOOTBAL - Football, by Jeff Parkhurst. Try and 
beat the computer. The play is nice even though you 
are dots on a screen. 

SNOWBALL - DC Snowball Fight is a two-player 
game that simulates the thrills, chills and spills of the 
popular winter pastime children ail around the world 
enjoy when the Nintendo is broken. ST, STe and TT 

#6200: GAMES (C) 

BEYOND - Beyond is a Tetris spin off. You must 
match like parts rather than build lines. The program 
is shareware. Demo has limited functional levels. 
JEPARDY3 - Here it is... the final version of 
Jeopardy. This pd program now includes a dispute 
key so you never get penalizied for an answer which 
is correct. Includes 4 new games to play. This is the 
ultimate game for Jeopardy lovers. 

MILBORNE - it's a race to the finish in this game 
based on the French card game of Milborne. You and 
the computer take turns drawing cards in an effort to 
get to the finish line first. Throw an obstacle in the 
way of the computer or deal with the obstacles he 
throws your way. The first player to reach »5flOO 
miles wins. 

MONOPOLY - Here is the classic board game. It 
is the same as earlier versions, however, it has been 
recompiled with GFA Basic 306E and should now run 
fine on the TT as well as the ST machines. 
WARSHIPS - Fighting sail recreates the ship-to- 
ship combat of the Napoleonic period. This single 
player game has nice graphics and realistic combat 
options. Based partly on /Walon Hill’s “Wooden Ships 
and Iron Men.’ 

#6210: OFFENDER (C) 

This demo is provided courtesy of Missionware Soft¬ 
ware for your enjoyment. The game is fully playable, 
but limits the number of levels you can attain. TT 

#6220: GAME DEMOS (C) 

AMAZE - This is a port of a neat mm demo that 
makes a great gee-whiz on high end workstations, it 
draws and solves mazes in a self-running random 
demo. You may also try to solve the mazes yourself 
and compare your score with the computer's solu¬ 
tion. It makes for a fun demo and game combina¬ 
tion. Runs on ST orTT 

AST__TUNL - Astro Tunnel is a low-res sprite 
master demo game by Chris Skeliern. This game 

gives you an idea of what you can do with Sprite 
Master. Yau need the mouse and arrow keys to play 
this fast-paced game. Cooridination and quickness 
seems to be the key to winning. 

DROMEPRE - This is a preview for a game very 
similar to M.U.L.E.. a colonization/trading game that 
was never rewritten for the ST. Many have cried out 
for a version of this game, and Network 23 Software 
has answered . .. almost. This is just a small part of 
the game Dromedary, which is currently being writ¬ 
ten. You must hunt skivits. tiny creatures who live in 
mountains on a barren planet. Sorry, no TOS 1.4! 
MAHJONGG - Good example of this classic puz¬ 
zle game. This file contains solvable layouts of the 
first five games, instructions, history, odds of winn¬ 
ing by non-strategic play (14 in 30,000 for the hard 
one). The odds improve if you think about the 

NOIDS_75 - This version of NOIDS supports ALL 
ST family computers. Noids is a breakout type game 
for the TT and MegaSTE. Shareware. 

WAFtZONE - This is a fully playable one level 
demo of Warzone by Core Design. It is a Com¬ 
mando-type game with excellent graphics and lots 
of frantic action. Various weapons can be aquired 
along with energy and power ups. Also implemented 
is a two player simultaneous play option! 

#6230: MONO GAMES 
CATCHME - Catchme is a game where you use 
the mouse to catch cards that say catchme before 
another card appears. Speed increases as you suc¬ 
ceed with each board. Germam but easily unders¬ 
tandable. ST/Mega/Sfe. TT/ST mode. 

FRUSTRAT - Frustration! is a word search game 
for two people. Kind of like “BOGGLE* with a few 
twists. Three levels of play make it great for kids! 

MANIPULR - Manipulator is a German program in 
German but you can do a great deal with it without 
understanding a word of German. It seems to be 
able to manipulate picture files in various ways. It 
needs to be tested further in depth to learn the full 
depth of its capabilities. ST. Mega. Sfe. TT/ST mode. 
PAIGOW -> Here is the ST version of Pai (Bow poker 
as played in Las Vsgas! Challenge the computer or 
play a friend over the phone line using your modem, 

SCHIEBST - Remember those games that you 
have to manipulate the squares to get them in cor¬ 
rect order with only one missing square? Well this 
one is in German and if you look to the right of the 
screen, it will tell you the order you must manipulate 
the squares to. It is a twister. It is in German but can 
be played without knowing German. Does not work 
on TT Works on ST, STe. 

WUNDER - Wunder is a German program that is 
actually quite fun for young and old alike. It allovi^s 
you to take its graphic and cut the people in half only 
to move them to another area where they will fit. 

This is achieved by a click of the mouse button. Ger¬ 
man. Works on Sf. STe, and TT/ST mode. 

#6240: GAME DEMOS (C) 

BOSTONBC - This program is a playable demo of 
the game “Boston Bomb Club.’ 

REPEAT - Desktop Repeat is a game in an acces¬ 
sory! Follow the sequence of sound and color just 

Page 78 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

like the SIMON game. Great for kids. You can play 
right on the desktop or from within running programs 
sf freeware. 

CRACKED - limited demo version of arcade game 
TIMEBAND - this demo version of Time Bandits 
displays only a fraction of the many different advent 
tures you will encounter on the commercial version. 
CHESS - non-playable demo of 3D Chess 

#628D: OMEGA 0.75! 

This game is the latest all ASCII Role Playing Game 
(RP6). Has a lot of improvements over the others 
such as NetHack, Lam, Moria, etc etc. Has really 
neat maps, multiple classes, jobs, a huge landscape 
to explore, five gods, in depth magic/clerical type 
^em! Can possibly be used as a BBS doorway if 
you have the RAM. Works on a SS floppy with disk 
swapping, but a HD is recommended. One meg or 
more needed! 

#6460: GAMES (C) 

NOIDS - V1.0 of Noids (like Breakout) and 
MkNoids. the game creator. Works best in ST Low. 
but the game will also run in TT Med. Shareware. 
DMLTN2 - Demolition Man V2.0. features three 
levels of difficulty, as well as an x-ray button that 
gives you a quick look at everything on the board. If 
you can beat the Agony level, you're definitely a 
demolition expert! 

3_SHOOTS - Low resolution required, any ST/ 
Sle. Three joystick-controlled games include a 
spaceship battle (G/VLACTIC). a rescue mission with a 
military theme (RIVER), and a Duck Hunt clone 
(HUNTING). Great for kids. 

SORRY - Electronic version of board game. 

#6470: GAMES (C) 

Several color arcade games construction using GFA 
Basic and GP-EDIT. The games are fully playable 
and illustrate the power inhereint in the GP-EDIT 

BOBBLE - similar to COLLAPSE, falling blocks, 
but not at such a frantic pace. 

MSPAC - the familiar Ms. Pac-Man game. 

MULTI - MultiGame (This is actually five games in 
one. all are great fun: WORM. FIRECOP. MEGAPEDE. 

STSQUARE - ST Squares, based on the Hollyw 
wood Squares game show. A two-player game for 
both adults and young adults. 

#6560: GAMES 

21 - This is a blackjack game for one player against 
the dealer. The rules are RENO Casino style. Ibtally 
mouse driven. 

CAMELS - From the author of Llamatron, Jeff 
Minter, here’s another whacko shoot-em up, a conv 
version of an old 8-bit game. The enclosed text file 
explains the different versions of the game. 
AMMOTRAK - A very good high-speed graphic 
game where you drive a rocket sled type vehicle. 

Shoot at targets then drive thru them to gain speed 
and fuel This plays excellent. (No TT.) 

SEEKER - Gold Seeker, going beyond Lode Runne 
er. this game has moveable trap doors, exploding 
bombs, diagonal slides, moving sidewalks, control 
table force fields, and an elevator. Contains 32 
screens from simple to fairly difficult. 

#6560: GAMES (C) 

TRIPLES - A game of matching three-of-a- 
kinds and solving rebus type puzzles, from 1 to 3 
players. 1 MEG req. Concentration Rebus puzzle type 

ROBOTREP - Robot Repairs Demo, enter Robot 
in minaturized probe andcollect deadly virus crystals. 

#6750: GAMES (C) 

BLOX - a variation of the original letris. In Blox, the 
blocks are hexadecimals coming from all kinds of diff 
ferent directions. 

KATRIX - In this letris clone variation, the blocks 
are all falling down, but there are a variety of colorful 

OTRPLACE - The Other Place game is entirely diff 
ferent. Check out the docs in the OTRPLACE folder. 

#6900: Star Ttek - The Klingon War 
The Klingon War simulates a battle between the USS 
Enterprise and a Klingon irwasion force. This game 
requires an ST with at least 1 meg of RAM, color 
monitor, and a double-sided disk drive. 

#6910: GAMES (C) 

FLIPPED - from the cover disk of Atari ST User 
(Mar 92), here is a fun colored tiles game with 100 

POKDICE - Poker Dice is an excellent game where 
you play poker the roll of a die. 

R0ULET17 - Roulette is the standard casino 

C0M_YAT2 - Computer Yahtzee, GFA compiled, 
can be played with four players. 

#6970: GAMES (C) 

EUCHRE - pits you and computer partner against 
two computer opponents. 

5KIND - 5-of-a-Kind allows one or two players 
to compete in a yahtzee type game. 

MUTCATER - Invasion of the Mutant Caterpillars 
arcade game demonstrates the new STDS 3D prog 
gramming language. 

BANG - GO BANG! figure out where the exploding 
mines are hidden on a grid, (this game also runs in 

COLORQV2 - Color Quest, colorful "SIM 
MON'memory game clone; play against the comput 
ter or a friend. 

ASTEROID - Clone Of the popular 8-bit classic 
space arcade game. 

A TCTKis A iffliffMmiicLnrourn 

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'Tfur fCift; _74 

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Tetris from CN #438. 

#703D: Eliemouse and More (C) 
ECCB_6 - Here is ver 6 of the The Eliemouse 
Complimentary Coloring Book for young children. 
This version fixes some bugs in the program, and 
adds the feature of children’s ANIMATION. Color the 
picture and then animate the action by clicking on 
the animation box. 

E__PRS - This freeware game is based on the old 
game Riper, Rock, Scissors, but with a new ingredie 
ent added. Eliemouse. The game is for young child 
dren and encourages use of the keyboard. Addictive 
game of chance played with animated Eliemouse. 
PLAYSPEL - Once a commercial program, B.Ware 
of the UK has noiv released Play Spell as shareware. 
For a small fee, users can acquire full documentation 
and additional data disks. This is a joystick-controil 
led platform arcade. Children maneuver a little man 
to collect letters to form basic words. Joystick in Port 
1 (joystick port). List of words cannot be changed. 

#7090: GAME DEMOS (C) 

P0PULX)U2 - Here is a DEMO of Populous 2 for 
you to check out. One of the best in God-playing 
games. TT Compatible in ST LOW. 

CONQUER - Here is a demo of Conquorer, a tank 
simulator originally from Rainbow Arts will be re-rel 
leased RSN. lest your abilities at lank simulations. 
Awesome 3D Gravies. 

PENGUIN - From the cover disk of the April 1992 
ST Format: Penguin! They’re small, look like they’re 
wearing tuxes and they need to get through this 
maze. So it's up to you, pardner. to round up these 
suckers. Remember, it’s all in the mouse action! TT 

#7100: RPG GAMES (C) 

QUEST - Loosely based on Robert Asprins “Myth" 
series. Become Sim or other characters and rescue 
l^nda from Istvan! Lots of fun! 

PACiSLND - Pacific Islands is a state of the art 
tank simulator, lb get it going double click on 
TY2.T0S inside the folder and prepare for battle. 
ROBNHOOD - This folder contains Barry Kolbe’s 
Robin Hood, a shareware, action/RPG similar to Omn 
nitrend’s Paladin. People who pay the shareware 
contribution will receive a scenario builder along with 
the non-demo version of the program. 

#711: GAMES (C) 

HURRY__V1 - Hurry! Place 36 shapes into their 
proper slots before the bomb goes boom. Sounds 
eaV? NOT... Sfe compatible. Said to be "one of the 
most frustrating and addictive games ever published 
in Slart..." 

MARBLEVI - Marbleous. VI. 0. Tired of dull vers 
slons of Master Mind? Try this one out. Find the sec 
cret code before it’s too late. 

COPSNROB - Cops and Robbers, written by 
Kevin and Larry Scott and compiled in GFA Basic. In 
this game you and your opponent are both trying to 
get the upper hand. As the robber you must find and 
rob five banks in the city. As the cop, you must patrol 
your city looking for the robber. 

SNOFITE - In this action-arcade, two-player 
game. You and your opponent must battle it out in a 
terrifying snowball fight. 

September 1992 

Current Notes 

Page 79 

List of Advertisers 

A & D Software (800-800-2563) 


ABCO (800-562-4037) 


Clear Thinking (313-971-8671) 


Codehead (213-386-5735) 


Computer Games Plus (800-443-8189) 


CN Library (Games) (703-450-4761) 


CN Library (Sept. Disks) 


CN Library (Cartridges) 


CN Library (SR Disks) 


D & P (800-535-4290) 


Debonair Software 


Electronic Clinic (301-656-7983) 


Fair Dinkum (505-662-7236) 


FAME Atarifest (514-272-6631) 


Fouch Software (814-465-1294) 


Gadgets by Small (303-791-6098) 


L&Y (703-643-1729) 


Mac Systems (405-477-3777) 


MacDonald Assoc (503-476-0071) 


Mid-Cities Computers (310-867-0626) 


Purple Mountain Computers (206-747-1519) obc 

Rising Star (800-252-2787) 


Run PC (800-326-2344) 


ST Connection (303-423-6805) 


Step Ahead Software (212-627-5830) 


Templicity (800- 624-2355) 


Toad Computers (301-544-6943) 


WAACE Atarifest (703-629-6734) 


Qassificd Ads 

520 ST, color, 30 Mb HD, 3 disk drives, 41 
programs, 2 scanners, 2.5 Mb RAM, tweety board, 
video and sound digitizer $1,400. Call John (918) 

Earn S1,000 with your Atari! Guaranteed 
Program. Send $1.00 (refundable) and LG SASE to 
Digital! nk, Rt. 4, Box 4665, Marshvield, MO 65706. 

For Sale: Blank DSDD 3.5” disks, $9.99 + 2. S/H 
for 25 disks. 50-1- shareware fonts for use with 
Pagestream 2.x, (Some fonts are demos and/or Type 
1) $19.99 + $2 S/H. Shareware & PD disks, as low 
as $2.50 per disk. Call or write for FREE catalog. 
Payment by check or money order only, allow time 
for checks to clear. Make checks payable to “The 
Punhouse Shareware.” Send orders to: The 
Punhouse Shareware, RO. Box 153, Berkeley, CA 
94701, (510) 525-9359. 

FOR SAI>E: SuperCharger 2/1 Meg, $299. Spectre 
GCR w/ROMS, $275. 520 ST w/4 Meg RAM, 

$300. GTS-IOOX external DS floppy, $35. ICD 
Breadbox Hard Drive w/3.5” floppy, $300. Atari 
SM124 Monochrome monitor, $75. Atari Mouse, 
$10. Beetle Mouse, $25. Omniswitch, $45. 
Individually or all for $1,100. Call Howard 
Wellman, 624 66th Ave. E., Tacoma, WA 98424. 
(206) 922-5177, leave message. 

CN Classified Ads. Send your classified ad into CN 
Classified, 122 N. Johnson Rd, Sterling, VA 20164. 
Classified ads are priced at 3 cents per character. 


Current Notes Subscription 

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Foreign subscriptions are $35/year ($63/2 years) payable in US 
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Page 80 

Current Notes 

Vol. 12, No. 7 

Rising Star Computers 

ORDERS ONLY 800-252-2787 -k ORDER STATUS 513-254-3160 


1 MultiSync TradeUp! 

Star^Sync Switch Box. 


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Trade Up! 

If you own a 520 or 1040ST 
consider trading up to an STE! 
They're really fast and fun. 
Call us or better yet call me, 
Doug, and let me tempt ya! 



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. 459 

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Need to make disk labels? DLM is for 
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Mega STE 1MB RAM ....$689 
Mega STE 2MB RAM ....$779 
Mega STE 4MB RAM ....$869 

1 Year Warranty.$FREE 

2 Year Warranty.$79 

1.44 MEG Drive.$FREE 

Atari TOS 2.06.$59 

50 MEG Hard Disk ...$289 

New Games Out the Wazoo! 

Addams Family. 




Lotus Turbo Chal. 2.. 






Fire & Ice. 


Ml Tank Platoon. 






Flight Of The Intruder 


Magic Pockets. 


Sim City/Populous. 


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.. 44 

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F-15 Strike Eagle2.. 


Life and Death. 


Robocop 3. 




F-19 Stealth Fighter., 




Shadow of Beast 2 ... 


Winter Supersport 92 


Wc Sell Used ST! 


STE 1MB RAM.$389 

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STE 4MB RAM.$569 


SC1435 w/Mega.$249 

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STAR 52 MEG.$469 

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STAR 44 MEG Cart.$599 


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Mail Orders To: P.O. Box 20038 k Dayton, OH 45420 

WRITE FOR FREE CATALOG. If ordering by mail, cal alieacl to gel totals. No extra charge for aedil card orders APO & 
FPO Ohio resklerils add 6.5% sales tax - Returns subiert to 20% restockkiq fee - Prices and availability subject to change without 
notice. Wc accept VISA. MasteK?ard and Discover. Say Hi to Ginger and Peggy and tell Ihem their doing a greal Job! Doug... 


WHAT can you DO with Gemu/atot? 

I^ow ST users can buy freedom in a box! Gemulstor 
runs Atari ST software on any 386/486 DOS compatible 
computer with VGA monitor and PC mouse. Don't throw 
away your ST software, keep it; you don't need to spend 
100's of doiiars buying dupiicate DOS versions. In fact, 
when you buy Gemulator and a DOS compatible computer 
you can use specialized DOS software and keep buying / 
new low-priced ST software. Tell your friends how great ^ 
ST software is and tell them to buy Gemulator. That'll 
keep ST developers in business and give you the power 
to make a difference in the Atari ST community (rather 
than watch and debate as it dwindles). 

Run Calamus, PageStream, WordPerfect 

and all other major ST software 

Use all 3 ST screen resolutions! 

I no need to buy an ^ctra monitor 

Up to 4 versions of TOS^p to 2.06) at once 

great for developers teMng K^tware compatlbJJity 

DOS & ST HattlOrfVe accesij\^\^ 

share PC's disk drives, harddri&iiianalM|||ers 

Print from^ny ^plication 

even grtfhlp^rodi«in8 like Ca|[anvi^i|^eStream! 

STE's^QlP colqf palette 
Re^ all/lTdl^ 

*l|wuding twistes^^a T091.0 
data betM^n ST i 

asy t^nstail 

^ screwdriver's heeded, ttgt 

WVndows coiepati|>le i 

\ runs from Dod or Windows! 


file Qptions Windoi 

File Vicri Options 

138359 bytes used i 

Word Win‘v*/'cKt( 

K flUTO ^ 

QUIEH3 '~m 


6EH, Sraphic Enviroiwent Hanager 

PC software 

Copyright 6 1985,86,87;88;83 
Rtari Corporation 
Digital Research, Inc. 

Oil Rights Reserved 

ortable ST 

run ST software oi 

Microsoft Publisher-TORON' 

ST Desktop running under Gemulator in Windows compatible. 

Gemu/atof retails for $399. Mention this ad and get FREE 
TOS 2.06 ROMs with Atari's NewDesktop ($139 value) and 
FREE Shipping! This offer expires at midnight on 
September 30.1992. Call/FAX 206.747.1519 (Visa and 
MasterCard accepted) to order or send in this coupon. 

Fiction? Fictn|n 
dWKz/afor is mado by ^e 
^OmOjeMpert who crewed the 
XmrnvmWi 8-bit emqiajkir. 
W^havew rimm that ^ery 
JBM\compBUpl4compi^r user 
^11DB runtun^ softere. 
VHth wery Qeiw/aforbought 
ST wvelopeiBxMi^have an 
inenaaed user oan and 
Increased revenum, they'll 
create more software, more 
demand, and theGT market 
will be massivel make us 
happy, make ST dol^opers 
happy, but most oftimjiinake 
yourself happy; call pid order 
Gemu/afor today! 

Send me: 

[ ] _ Gemulatoi{s) & free TOS ROMs at $399 each 

[ ] _Gemu/afor demonstration video(s) at $10 each 

[ ] _Brochure(s) detailing Gemu/afor features 

Make checks and money orders payable to PMC. 

[ ] Check #_ [ ] Money Order 

[ ] Credit Card #_Exp. Date / 


Purple Mountain 
Computers, Inc. 

5600ISE 8th SL Ste/\34C 
Belevue.WA 98008 



Phone # (_), 

Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. All other products mentioned are 
trademarks of their respective manufacturers. Allow two weeks for checks to clear.