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CN 1001 




















1 st STOP Computer Systems 

7085 CORPORATE WAY ♦ DAYTON, OHIO 45459 


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10lh Frame Bowling.27 

5 Star Combo Pack.39 

Action ST.24 

Action ST 2.35 

Adventures of Sinbad.29 

African Raiders.24 

Alcon.13 

Alien Syndrome.24 

All Points Bulletin (APB).24 

Alter Beast.24 

Alternate Reality tie City.28 

Arcade Force Four.34 

Archipelagos.34 

Artie Fox.14 

Armada.36 

Asterix.29 

Axel’s Magic Hammer.24 

Baal.12 

I Backgammon.29 

I Balance of Power.29 

Balance of Power 1990.29 

Ballistix.21 

Bangkok Knight.26 

Barbarian II.24 

Barnum & Bailey Circus.24 

Baseball II.32 

Batman the Movie.24 

Battle Chess.29 

BatlleTech.29 

Battlehawks1942.33 

Beverly Hills Cop.29 

Black Cauldron.24 

Black Cauldron Hint Book.7 

Blood Money.24 

Blood Wych.29 

Breach.24 

Breach Scenario Disk.15 

Bridge Player 2150.36 

Bubble Bobble.19 

Captian Fizz.19 

Castle Warrior.29 

Centerfold Squares.19 

Chambers ofShaolin.24 

Chaos Strikes Back.24 

Chariots of Wrath.29 

Chase HQ.24 

Chess Player 2150.29 

Chronoquest.29 

ChuckieEgg.24 

Clue.26 

Commando.24 

"Conflict, Europe’.29 

Corruption.22 

Crash Garrett.24 

Dark Castle.19 

Dark Fusion.24 

Day of the Pharaoh.29 

Death Bringer.24 

Dogs of War.24 

Double Dragon.29 

Double Dragon II.24 

Downhill Challenge.21 

Dr. Dooms Revenge.29 

Dragon Force.33 

Dragon Ninja/Bad Dudes.26 

Dragon Scape.27 

Dragon Spirit.24 

Dragons of Rame.26 

Dream Zone.24 

Dungeon Master.24 

Dungeon Master Editor.16 

Dungeon Master Hint Book.10 

Dungeon Master Hint Disk.14 

Dynamite Dux.24 

Emmanuelle (Adult).24 

Empire.32 


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Emporer of Minds.29 

Enterprise.24 

Exolon.22 

Eyes of Horus.24 

F15 Sfrike Eagle.24 

FI6 Combat Pilot.29 

F40 Prusuit.27 

Falcon.29 

Falcon Mission Disk.16 

Fallen Angel.24 

Fast Lane.24 

Ferrari Formula One.32 

Fiendish Freddy.29 

Fire Zone.23 

First Contact.29 

Flight Simulator II.29 

Forgotten Wald.24 

Full Count Basketball.24 

Future Wars.29 

Galaxy Face.24 

Galdregons Domain.24 

Games Galae.24 

Games (Summer Edition).29 

Gato.24 

Gauntlet.29 

Gauntlet II.24 

General Manager.19 

GFL Football.26 

GhostBusters II.29 

Ghouls 4 Ghosts.24 

Global Commanda.26 

GogoST.22 

Gold of the Realm.25 

Gold Rush.26 

Goldrunner 2.24 

Grand Prix Master.24 

Gunship.32 

Hacker.19 

Hard Drivin'.24 



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Harrier Combat Simulator.29 

Hawaiian Odyssey.22 

Hawkeye.24 

Hellraiser.24 

Hedraider.24 

Haoes of tie Lance.26 

Haoes of the Lance Hint Disk. 13 

Hits Disk #1.29 

Hits Disk #2.29 

Hole in One Golf Plus.19 

Hostage.28 

Hunt fa Red Octoba.33 

I Ludiaus.22 

Indiana Jones Adventure Game33 

Indiana Last Cursade.33 

Intaphase.29 

Iron Trackers.24 

ISS.29 

Jet.29 

Joker Poker.29 

Journey to the Center of Earth 27 
■Karate Championship, Wald" 19 

King of Chicago.16 

Kings Quest 3.29 

Kings Quest 3 Hint Book.6 

Kings Quest 4.36 

Kings Quest 4 Hint Disk.13 

Knight Force.29 

Kult.29 


Precious Metal.29 

Pro Soccer.24 

Pro Tennis Tour.26 

Prof Plays a New Game.36 

Quartz.29 

Quest fa the Time Bird.35 

Raffles.28 

Rally Cross.24 

Red Lighting.41 

Red Stam Rising.28 

Risk.26 

Robotron 2084.19 

Rock and Roll.24 

Rocket Ranger.33 

Roller Coaster Rumbla.24 

Scape Ghost.24 

Scrabble.28 

Sauples.25 

Sex Vixens from Space.24 

Shadowgate.29 

Shinobi.24 

Shuffleboard.19 

Shufflepuck.24 

Silk Warn.24 

Soldier 2000 . 29 

Space Ace.35 

Space Quest 3.37 

Stay So Far.24 

Strip Poker 2.24 

Strip Poker Data Disk #1.13 

Stunt Car Racer.29 

Summer Challenge.11 

Super Hang On.24 

Super Quintet.29 

Super Wondaboy.24 

Superman.24 


Productivity 


1st Wad Plus 3.14.. 


Univase 3. 

Univase II. 

Untouchables. 

....29 

....29 

....24 

....19 

Zak McKracken. 

Zany Golf. 

....28 

....22 

Zao Gravity. 

....19 

S EducationaC 

ABZoo. 

.19 

Biology Vol. #1. 

....14 

Biology Vd. #3. 

....14 

Calculus. 

.29 

Computer Guide Sdar System 33 

Deamal Dungeon. 

.24 

Discrete Math. 

.29 

Fraction Action. 

.24 

K'mdaama. 

.24 

Magical Anagrams 


Bentley Bear. 

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Magical Malh 3 Bentley Bear ..19 

Magical Myths. 

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Math Blaster +. 

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Math Wizard. 

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Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 33 

Mem ay Master 1 Bentley Bear 19 

Memay Master 2 Bentley Bear 19 

Mixed Up Molha Goose ... 

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Pre-Calculus. 

.29 

Probability. 

.29 

Read & Rhyme. 

.24 

Readarama. 

.29 

Spdla Bee. 

.29 

Trigonometry. 

.29 

Winnie the Pooh. 

.14 


Turbo ST..32 

UltraScript Font PS 22.129 

UltraScript Font PS 35.149 

UltraScript ST/SLM 804.129 

UltraScript ST-1.134 

Universal Item Selecta II.13 

Utilities Plus.37 

VIDI-ST Mono Digitizer.144 

WadRar.65 

Wad Master.26 

Wad Perfect 4.1.149 

Wad Up 2.0.48 

Wad Writer ST.48 


Accounts, ST ver 2.0..89 

Accounts, ST ver 1.42 

Art & Film Directa.54 

Art Gallery 1 (Print Master).19 

Art Gallery 2 (Print Master).19 

Art Gallery 3 - Fantasy.19 

Assem Pro.36 

Award Maker*.24 

BBS 3.0.48 

Becker Cad.139 

Cad 3d Ver 2 (+Cybermate).... 53 

Calamus.169 

Calamus Font Edita. 59 

Calamus Outline.149 

Circuit Maker II.84 

Code Head Utilities.18 

Copyist II (Professional).154 

Cyber Control.36 

Cyber Paint (ver 2).48 

Cyber Sculpt.53 

Cyber Studio.53 

Cyber Texture.30 

Cyber VCR.42 

dBMan 5.2.164 

Diamond Back.24 

Digispec 1.22.27 

Drafix.114 

DTP Desktop Publisher ST.79 

DynaCadd.399 

Dyna Caddl.7.589 

Easy Draw.63 

Easy Draw 

w/SuperCharga-DS/DD.89 

Flash.19 

FontzST.23 

Faem BBS.42 

G+Plus.21 

Generation Gap( Family Tree) .32 

GFA Basic w/Compiler.84 

Guitaristics.48 

Hisoft Basic Professional.94 

Hotwire.23 

KCS Level 2.219 

Laser C.114 

Laser DB.49 

LDW Power Speadsheet.87 

Mark Williams C.104 

Maxifile.23 

Multi Desk.18 

Music Studio 88.35 

NeoDesk.28 

Page Stream.115 

Personal Pascal.64 

Print Master Plus.24 

ProsperoC.124 

Protext.124 

S'ignum.124 

ST Control.49 

Stalk the Market.48 

Superbase 2.89 

Superbase Personal.48 

Superbase Professional 3.0.209 

Touch Up.119 

Turbo Kit, hard drive.36 


^Hardware 


1 Meg D Rams.12 

1040 ST (nomonita).639 

256K D Rams.3.5 

4 Raya Adapter (Leathaneck) 12 

520 ST (w/o monita).499 

CM515 Monita Cdble.19 

Cadless Mouse.92 

Discovery Cart OptO.144 

Discovery Cart Opt 2.189 

Disk drive cable, 6ft.14 

Drive Masta.32 

Duplitwix Blitz.44 

DVT VCR Hard Drive Back Up159 

Epyx 500 XJ Joystick.18 

Ergo Stick (Joystick).19 

Fast Tape Backup 155 Meg . 799 
Hand Scanna w/Touch Up ..429 

IB Drive 5.25".209 

ICD Host Adapta.99 

Joystick Extension Cable (10").. 4 
Joystick Extension Cable (10’) 11 

Kraft Ace Joystick.5 

Maxx Right Yoke.68 

Modem cable IBM/ST, 10 ft ....11 

Modem cable IBM./ST, 6 ft.8 

Monita Master.32 

Mouse Masta.26 

PC Ditto 2.259 

PC Speed.359 

Printer cable, IBM/ST 10 ft.10 

Printer cable, IBM/ST 6 ft.7 

SCI 224 Cola Monita.339 

SF314 Disk Drive -DS/DD.... 199 

SGS Net Starter Kit (net).123 

SGS Net Station Node (net).... 89 
SMI24 Monochrome Monita 159 

Spectre 128.122 

Spectre 128 ROMs.129 

Spectre GCR.229 

ST Replay 4.89 

ST Time (Internal Time Clock) 42 
Supra 2400 Modem (external) 116 

Turbo 16.269 

Tweety Board.36 

Video Key.64 

Z RAM 2/4 Meg Board.129 

Zoom 2400 modem.116 



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Current Notes( ISSN 8750-1937) is published 
monthly (excluding January and August) by 
Current Notes, Inc., 122 N. Johnson Rd., 
Sterling, VA 22170 (703) 450-4761. Direct 
subscriptions to Current Notes are available 
for $24/year ($42/2 years). Second-Class 
Postage paid at Sterling, VA and other offices. 

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

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

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

ST Editor: Frank Sommers, 4624 Langdrum 
Lane, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 (301) 656- 
0719. 

XE Editor: Len Poggiali, 225 Mosley Dr, 
Syracuse, NY 13206(315)437-2456. 

Copy Editor: Joyce Waters 

Articles or review material and press releases 
should be sent directly to the appropriate 
editor. Deadline date for articles is the 3rd of 

the month. 

Advertising Manager: Joyce Waters, 122 
N. Johnson Rd, Sterling, VA 22170 (703) 
450-4761. 


1990 Advertising Rates: 


Ad Size 

lx 

3X 

5x 

Full Page 

$180 

$480 

$700 

2/3 Page 

$130 

$345 

$510 

1/2 Page 

$103 

$270 

$400 

1/3 Page 

$75 

$195 

$275 

1/4 Page 

$57 

$150 

$215 

1/6 Page 

$40 

$105 

$160 

1/9 Page 

$35 

$90 

$125 


Send photo-ready copy, due in by the 10t h 
of the month preceding publication, to the 
publisher. 

Store Sales: Joyce Waters, (703) 450-4761. 
Current Notes is available in leading Atari 
stores nationwide. If you would like to carry 
Current Notes in your Atari store, please 
contact us. 

Back Issues: A limited number of back 
issues are available: 

1987: ($1.50) FEB, MAR, APR, MAY, JUN, 
JUL/AUG, NOV, DEC; (All 8 for $10) 

1988: ($2.00) FEB, MAR, APR, MAY, JUN, 
JUL/AUG, SEP, OCT, NOV, DEC. (All 10 for 
$15) 

1989: ($2.50) JAN/FEB, MAR, APR, MAY, 
JUN, JUL/AUG, SEP, OCT, NOV, DEC (All 10 
for $20) 

Current Notes is produced on an Atari 
Mega4 computer with an Atari SLM804 
laser printer using Atari desktop pub¬ 
lishing software. 


Current Notes 


TABLE CE CONTENTS 

Vol. 10, No. 1: January/February 1990 


In this Issue 

WAACE Atarifest ’90, by John Barnes. 

Reston, Virginia - October 6 and 7 

Atari 8-Bit Systems, by Stephen LaFevers. 

Alive and Well in Alaska 

And the Winner Was..., by Frank Sommers. 

Lynx and Game Boy — Mano a Mano 

CN Now Online, by John Barnes. 

Visit Us on GEnie, Category 15: Current Notes Online 

New Initiatives for Developers, by John Barnes. 

Atari Cites New Program as Developers Form Own Association 
with Heads of Six Top Firms as Directors 
Current Notes 1989 Index, by Joe Waters. 

Regular Features 


Editorial: A Bit of CN History.Joe Waters 

Letters to the Editor. 

ST Update: All the latest ST News.Frank Sommers 

XE/XL Update!*): All the latest XE News.Len Poggiali 

Spectre Tips: #10 Introducing PostScript.Doug Hodson 

New Spectre PD Disks.Jeff Greenblatt 

Junkyard Pussycat.John Barnes 

There & Back Again: Dial 976-CPRG.Robert Millard 

Marshall Artist: Spectrum Clip Art.Steve Marshall 

Stuck in a Rut: Jinxter.“Sam Wright’ ’ 

Starting Block: For the ARC of It!.Richard Gunter 

ST Toolbox: Small is Beautiful.J. Andrzej Wrotniak 

Myths & Mysteries: Hard Disks Part 4.David Troy 

G-MAN: As Seen on TV!.David Grace 

PD Potpourri.Brian Miller 

Atari’s Small Miracles!*).Frank Kweder 


Product Reviews 

Geography Tutor, by Bill Moes. 

Willow, by Bill Moes. 

Battle for the Bible, by Timothy Rapson. 

The Holy Bible!*), by Terry L. Ortman. 

1989 Tax Advantage!*), by Richard Caldwell. 

Kidpublisher Professional, by Georgia Weatherhead.. 

TV Sports Football, by George Hulseman. 

Shufflepuck Cafe, by Milt Creighton. 

SkyChase, by Mike Heininger. 

Paperclip Revisited!*), by David Harris. 

Prospero Developers Toolkit, by J. Andrzej Wrotniak 
* Atari XL/XE specific. 


21 

34 

36 

45 

46 


78 


4 

6 

8 

12 

14 

16 

18 

22 

24 

26 

28 

30 

40 

42 

50 

52 


54 

57 

58 
60 
61 
62 
64 
66 

67 

68 
70 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 3 









































jilt, =From the Editor's Desk:= 

A Bit of CN History 

This issue, Volume 10, No. 1, marks the start of the 
10th year of Current Notes. Imagine that! The first issue, 
Volume 1, No. 1, of Current Notes (unnamed at the 
time) was published in May 1981. The six-page 
“No-Name Newsletter for the new (and also No-Name) 
ATARI Users’ Group of Northern Virginia” was created 
by its first editor, Paul Chapin. The club had 25 initial 
members. The next two issues, four pages each in June 
and July, remained unnamed as did the user group 
itself. By the fourth issue in September (even in the very 
beginning there was no August issue), the (still name¬ 
less) newsletter was distributed to the group of Atari 
fans in Virginia and another group forming in the District 
of Columbia. Paul Chapin lived in Northern Virginia but 
worked in D.C., in the very building where the new D.C. 
group for forming. It seemed to only make sense for 
both groups to share the same newsletter. 

By October, the Northern Virginia group had finally 
settled on a name (NOVATARI) as had the D.C. Group 
(AC/DC). The name “Current Notes” appeared, finally, in 
the 7-page November, 1981 issue. The name was 
created by Paul Chapin who simply combined the 
column titles of each of the two individual club reports: 
“AC/DC Currents ” and “NOVATARI Notes ” to create the 
name of the newsletter. 

Paul’s reign as editor lasted about two and a half 
years. In October of 1983, he turned the newsletter over 
to a new, young, editor, Staffan Sandberg. Staffan’s first 
step was to enlarge the size of the newsletter from a 7 x 
9 inch format to an 8.5 by 11 inch page. His first issue 
was 8 pages. Staffan doubled the November and 
December issues to 16 pages each. In January of 1984, 

I agreed to help Staffan by writing a regular column, 
called “Basic Beat,” that provided instruction to budding 
new BASIC programmers. In February, Staffan sent out 
his first second-class issue. He had discovered that CN 
could be mailed at second-class postage rates, which 
were considerably cheaper than first-class postage. 
However, there was a catch. The minimum size of the 
publication had to be 24 pages, a considerable jump 
over earlier sizes, and more meticulous records had to 
be kept. Staffan did a couple more issues but, 
eventually, found the combined demands of full-time 
study, part-time work, and newsletter editor a bit too 
demanding to handle. 

So, with the May 1984 issue, I took over the job of 
newsletter editor. That issue was 28 pages and had a 
circulation of 400 copies. Producing that many pages 
every month seemed like quite a challenge, after all, just 
where was one to get Atari news? I scaled back the 
frequency to 10 times a year at that point. Staffan had 


already missed a month and with the post office we had 
to be consistent. Besides, I suspected that this was 
going to be a lot of work and I wanted to leave a couple 
months off as a sort of cushion. 

And then we started growing and changing. I enjoy 
creating things and I was curious to see just how good 
the newsletter could become. As long as we kept 
getting better, there was always a challenge in doing the 
newsletter and that’s what I enjoyed. 

By the end of that year, the issue was 32 pages, five 
Atari clubs were receiving Current Notes as their club 
newsletter, circulation was about 500, and I had also 
assumed the duties of President of NOVATARI. I created 
the Washington Area Atari Computer Enthusiasts, a 
loose federation of the five clubs, primarily to serve as 
the “publisher” of Current Notes. By the end of 1985, 
we were up to 52 pages and over 2,000 copies. 

By the end of the following year, 1986, WAACE had 
sponsored, successfully, its very first Atarifest. Current 
Notes had grown to 68 pages and the circulation was 
about 3,000. As CN continued to grow, it required more 
work than any sane “volunteer” would do. In addition, 
as we became bigger so, too, did the financial risks 
become greater. So in 1987, Current Notes, Inc. was 
formed and by the end of the year, we were producing 
80 pages with a circulation near 4,000. My wife, Joyce, 
who is not a computer fanatic, was pressed into doing 
“part-time” work for CN. 

Eighty pages takes a tot of work. In fact, it was 
about the limit of what I could reasonably put together in 
my “spare time” in a one-month period. Indeed, I was 
putting in 40 hours a week just working on CN. (As 
some of you know, I also have a full-time job with one 
of those secret government agencies.) So, for the last 
two years, even though I have held the size of the 
newsletter relatively stable (while circulation has grown 
slowly), Joyce has had to expand her hours to full-time 
work. She handles all the finances (including taxes!) as 
well as advertising and store sales. Be nice to her. If I 
had to handle taxes and all that paperwork, CN would 
quickly become history! 

Well, here we are at the start of CN’s 10th and my 
6th year. We have near/y completed an addition to our 
house just to handle Current Notes (should have been 
done by Dec. 18, but that’s a nightmare you don’t want 
to hear about!) We have switched to another (our fourth) 
printer and the size of this issue, 84 pages counting the 
cover, will be the standard size for 1990. CN is 
sponsoring an online category on GEnie and the CN 
library has been put on CD-ROM (separate untold story 
there). I’m not sure what else is in store for 1990, but, I 
assure you, the challenge is still there. I’m looking 
forward to another year. 



Page 4 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 






(703)494-3444 
METRO 643-1729 
FAX 703-494-3663 
MON.-SAT. 10am- 7 pm 
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ATARI SERVICE 
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NO CREDIT CARD SURCHARGE 


PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE 
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$229.99 

□Panasonic KXP-1124 

$299.99 

□Panasonic KXP-1624 

$449.99 

□Panasonic 32K Buffer for 


1181, 1191, & 1124 

$ 57.00 


✓Entertainment 

□Adv Dungeons and Dragons 

$29.99 

□Obliterator 

$19.99 

□Axe of Rage 

$19.99 

□O.I.D.S. 

$27.99 

□Battle Chess 

$35.99 

□Omega 

$32.99 

□Battle Hawk 142 

$34.99 

□Phantasy I,n, or IE 

$29.99 

□Bloodwych 

$35.99 

□Hctionary 

$35.99 

□Bloodwych Data Disk 

$21.99 

□Pirates 

$29.99 

□Bubble Bobble 

$19.99 

□Police Quest I or n 

$35.99 

□California Games 

$29.99 

□Populous 

$39.99 

□Dive Bomber 

$21.99 

□POnlous Data Disk 

$19.99 

□Double Dragon 

$29.99 

□Red Storm Rising 

$32.99 

□Dungeon Master I or II 
□Empire 

$25.99 

$39.99 

□Scrabble 

□Shadowgate 

$29.99 

$39.99 

□F-15 Strike Eagle 

$29.99 

□Space Quest I, n, or III 
□Star Command 

$35.99 

OF-16 Combat Pilot 

$35.99 

$37.99 

□F40 Pursuit 

$29.99 

□Star Fleet I 

$37.99 

□Falcon 

$32.99 

□Star Wars 

$29.99 

□Fighter Bomber 

$37.99 

□Street Fighter 

$29.99 

□Gauntlet n 

$39.99 

□TechnoCop 

$29.99 

□King’s Quest IV 

$39.99 

□Time of Lore 

$29.99 

□Kult 

$39.99 

□Turbo Outrun 

$27.99 

□Leasure Suit Larry I or II 

$32.99 

□Ultima IV 

$39.99 

□Manhunter NY II 

$35.99 

□Uninvited 

$39.99 

OMicroLeague Baseball II 

$39.99 



✓St Hardware 


□*520 ST or 1040 ST 


2 Meg Upgrade INSTALLED 

$399.99 

4 Meg Upgrade INSTALLED $599.99 

*Pnoe varies due to Ram races 

old style 520 ST/1040 Boards 

□Fast Accelerator Board Installed 

$289.99 

□PC Speed Installed 

$399.99 

OJRI Board 

$100.00 

INSTALLED 

$150.00 

□CMI Board 

$200.00 

INSTALLED 

$275.00 

QJATO COLOR BOARD 

$ 75.00 

Please Ask About Guarantee 


□520 ST or 1040 ST with monochrome 

with color 

CALL 

□Mega 2 or 4 Mb with monochrome 


with color 

CALL 

□128k ROMS for Mac 

$150.00 

□RS232C or Centronics cable 

$ 9.99 

□ICD 50 Mb Hard Drive 

$699.99 

□Supra 60 Mb Hard Drive 

$895.00 

□Atari 60 Mb Hard Drive 

$749.99 


✓Drawing Progra 

□CyberControT 
OCyberPaint 
□CyberStudio (CAD 2.0) 
□CyberPrint 

□Easy Draw/Turbo Charger 

□Easel ST 

□Graph Maker 

OQuatum Paint Box 

□Spectrum 512 

□Art and Film Director 

□Touch-Up 

□Hand Scanner & Touch-Up 


$39.99 

$39.99 

$59.99 

$29.99 

$99.99 

$17.99 

$49.99 

$19.99 

$49.99 

$49.99 

119.99 

399.99 





















Letters to 
the Editor 



The Dream 

An Open Letter to Atari, Dealers, and Users 

The Atari engineering department continues to produce 
astounding machinery. The STE and TT are well improved 
machines in a mature environment. Atari is also doing very 
well fiscally. A lot of Atari's current financial success is due 
to the Atari Portfolio. The worlds smallest MSDOS 
computer has captured the imagination of computer afi¬ 
cionados world wide. 

Both the STACY Transportable and the TT have a very 
classy feel and give an experienced user the feeling of 
almost unlimited power. At last Atari's video resolution is 
second to none in the microcomputer market. If the TT does, 
indeed, release in a timely manner at less than $2,000 and if 
the STACY is priced at $1,495 for the basic floppy system, 
the pledge of “Power without the Price*' will be truly 
fulfilled. 

In fact, Atari has a virtual plethora of equipment and 
third party support for this equipment is substantial. From 
Parsec boards, to Mac and IBM adaptors, to Calamus, 
Pagestream, and Ultrascript, as well as music sequencing 
and sampling, point of sale systems, and even dedicated 
industrial control Mega ST's, there is no dearth of niche 
development for our machine which has somewhat dis¬ 
appointing sales figures. 

This brings us to the crux of the problem. In my 
opinion, the Atari ST/TT line is the broadest base of 
technically superior hardware available from any company. 
But every major computer company has an Achilles* Heel. 
IBM s is their graphic performance. They just aren't fun 
machines, and there are too many graphic standards. The 
Mac's is price coupled with a black and white standard 
which is dominant on their machines. The Amiga's problems 
are poor resolution and some doubt about the financial 
stability of Commodore. Tandy has a poor image due to 
their Radio Shack heritage and current IBM compatible 
technology. Atari has one major problem. Marketing. All of 
our minor problems stem from this basic flaw. 

The public attitude needs to be changed. Atari has tried 
various outside agencies including, recently, a division of 
Chiat Day, the advertising agency credited with Apple's 
success. They lasted about thirty days. Frequently, Atari has 
mounted in-house campaigns. These have been dismal. Some 
of the promotions have been enticing; all of the hardware is 
desirable, and potentially well-supported. The one thing 
Atari has not been able to come up with is a campaign to 
inspire the masses. 

I suggest that perhaps because of the owners coming 
from Canada, they misunderstand some aspect of the 
American market. We must certainly compliment the 
Tramiel family on what they do well. Atari is financially 
stable, and it was on the verge of ruin when they took over 


it. The ST consistently offers the most bang for the buck and 
is, in my opinion, the wonder machine of the decade. 

On the other hand, the American dollar is spent on fads. 
The hula hoop, Davy Crockett, Nehru jackets, Pet Rocks, 
and Apple Macintoshes are all fads. The Atari ST has not 
become a fad because it has not been advertised properly. 

I know this may sound self aggrandizing, but after four 
years as an Atari ST dealer, having to battle to survive as 
Jack Tramiel did in the marketplace, I am more in touch 
with users, user groups, developers and the American public 
than any Atari corporate officer. In fact, I studied American 
Culture through graduate and post graduate school and have 
a degree in Anthropology. That I chose an economic life of 
marketing Atari is partially a testimony to the cultural 
change computers are wreaking in our lives and partially due 
to Atari's accessability, both in ease of use and availability 
for less money. What makes Atari inaccessible is the lack of 
knowledge of their product by the American public. 

I say we can change that. One way is by supporting 
“The Revolution,” Don Thomas' ideas on the users selling 
the brand. The second is hiring me as consultant or 
marketing specialist for Atari. In one year's time we can 
double Atari's dealers and quadruple Atari's ST sales in the 
U.S. with judicious advertising at a percentage of gross 
specified by Atari. Jack Tramiel and Sam Tramiel told me 
10 percent. I submit that under my direction, Atari can 
spend 8-10 percent on advertising, reach 10 times as many 
people, quadruple sales, and create the public image 
necessary to set the ST as a new standard firmly in the 
American economy. 

If you feel as I do that Atari's major shortcoming is in 
its public relations, from the general public, through dealer 
and user group organizations, then I am asking you to write 
Jack Tramiel, the Chairman of the Board, to give us, the 
Atari users a chance to market their machine with me as the 
coach with certain powers in their company. This is not 
some kind of a takeover or assertion of democracy in action. 
After all, Atari is a family-run company. I’m just suggesting 
that this one aspect of business could be managed better by 
me as someone coming up from the ranks. After all, when 
queried about marketing at COMDEX last week, Leonard 
Tramiel said, “What marketing?” 

If you support this move to better market the ST/TT 
line please write: Jack Tramiel, Chairman of the Board, 
Atari Corporation, 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 
94086, and say: I'd like to see Atari ST/TT machines more 
widely sold and used. I think Bill Yerger has some good 
ideas. Why don't you give him a try? 

Thanks, 

Bill Yerger 

Owner Zephyr/Microworld 

EZRAM Not Terrific 

Dear Current Notes, 

I bought my ST in 1987. A while later, I bought the 
EZRAM memory expansion board. A whole meg, wow! It 
was easy to install and if there were problems, help was a 
phone call away. 


Page 6 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 



Shift to the recent past. I decided to upgrade again, this 
time to 2.5 megs. Since EZRAM had another board and 
since I had good experience with them, this is the board I 
chose. I had a few questions so a quick letter to Terrific 
Corporation was in order. This was answered shortly, with 
suggestions as to where to obtain 1 meg chips. Best of all, 
EZRAM II was on sale! Well, I planned to install pc-ditto 
If so I called Terrific to make sure everything would fit. A 
message on their machine gave a number to call for 
technical assistance. The fellow on the other end assured me 
it all would fit. Just to make sure, I asked if there had been 
any problems with the new EZRAM boards. I was assured 
that there had not been any problems. 

When everything arrived, I had a friend install it for me. 
(He put in the original upgrade.) At first, it didn’t work, but 
after some moving of chips and repositioning the board-2.5 
megs of memory!! A short-lived happiness. Everything quit. 

My computer was repaired (memory chips, video chip 
and other things). I have been told that a 520 ST should 
NEVER be upgraded past 1 meg. It draws too much power. 
But EZRAM requires no power supply modifications. Well, 
call Terrific and see if they can help. I wrote Terrific. No 
answer. I called. No answer. I called again. Left a message. 
Someone would call. No one did. Again, I called. This time 
a young lady answered and after hearing the problem, 
assured me a technician would call back. No one called. I 
left another message. I wrote them again. I wrote to 
magazines requesting help. (Thanks, CN and ST Informer 
for your help.) Apparently, ST Informer dropped Terrific 
from their magazine, but didn’t say why. I don’t know about 
Current Notes. 

What I do know is this: Terrific assured me there were 
no problems with EZRAM II. That it didn’t need extra 
power to work. That they were eager to sell me a board, but 
couldn’t care less about it now that I’ve purchased it. I also 
know it cost me $450 for a board and chips (including 
computer repairs) that does not work. The chips may be 
damaged, I don’t know. I realize that sometimes add-ons will 
not work out of the box, but most companies will try to 
help. Not so with Terrific. 

If you want an upgrade, stick to 1 meg. Any higher and 
you’re asking for trouble. Other memory expansions may 
work fine, but EZRAM II doesn’t and they are of no help. If 
you just have to have an EZRAM II, take the money to the 
toilet and flush it. It will save you more in the long run. 

Donnie Proctor 
High Point, NC 


Stay Clear of Tech Specialities 

Dear Editor, 

I understand that computer magazines derive a great 
deal of their money from advertisements. However, when 
these advertisers deceive the readership by advertising 
products or services which they cannot provide, then it 
becomes necessary to inform the public of these unprofes¬ 
sional business practices. Such is the case with a company 


which has advertised in a great many Atari specific 
magazines over the past several years: Tech-Specialities Co. 
of Houston, Texas. 

Approximately six months ago, I sent my 520ST 
(purchased with a one megabyte RAM upgrade) to Tech- 
Specialities for a RAM upgrade to 4 megabytes. They 
advertise RAM upgrades as well as hard-drive components/ 
kits. I had observed their advertisements in several maga¬ 
zines over the years and even read some favorable reviews 
on their upgrade kits. I first talked with their owner and 
technician Kay Vaumund and he assured me that an upgrade 
to 4 megabytes was no problem and would be completed 
quickly after receiving my computer. He required, however, 
advance payment. I consider myself a good judge of 
character, and having read favorable reviews of his 
company, I forwarded my computer and money. 

After waiting approximately two weeks, I telephoned 
Mr. Vaumund to find out how the upgrade was progressing. 
He advised me that he had not even started the project. I did, 
however, receive my cancelled check, indicating that he had 
deposited my money in his account. Several weeks later, 
after not having received the computer, I once again 
telephoned Tech-Specialities, only to be advised that my one 
megabyte upgrade had been soldered into the computer and 
that this required de-soldering prior to the installation of the 
4 megabyte upgrade. Vaumund told me that this would take 
longer and that he would complete it as he had time. I later 
learned, however, that he had already begun the de-soldering 
process without giving me a chance to contemplate other 
alternatives (due to the lengthy delays). After three months 
had elapsed, and I still didn’t have my computer, I decided 
that enough was enough. I had made some one dozen 
long-distance telephone calls during this time (California to 
Texas) and received excuse after excuse for not completing 
the upgrade. 

I gave him official notice that I wanted my money 
refunded and computer returned or I would file small claims 
action against him. He failed to acknowledge and I filed suit 
in Harris County, Texas. Last week I was notified by the 
court that I was awarded judgement. They awarded me full 
cash settlement (my original deposit, the value of my 
computer and court costs),. Is there a happy ending? Not 
quite yet. I still have to collect. Although he has been given 
10 days to pay, I don’t expect settlement. He ignored me 
right from the beginning and I don’t see any reason for him 
to change. I have, however, commenced lien proceedings 
against him and his company. It may take awhile, but I am 
optimistic. 

As a valued subscriber to yours and other ST 
magazines, I understand the dependency on advertisers as a 
source of income. However, it is equally important that your 
readership be warned of businesses/companies who fail to 
deliver, regardless of the magazines they advertise in. 
Unfortunately, I took the rocky road. Let’s hope that your 
readers learn from my bumpy ride. Stay clear of Tech- 
Specialities Co, 

Cordially, 

G.D.Heckman 
La Quinta, CA 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 7 



Blasting Into The ‘90’s 

The game of Monopoly in the 
Russian language is now on sale in 
Moscow. Noriega is now in a U.S. 
court calling as a defense witness 
his last CIA case officer, President 
Bush. Few other symbols more 
effecively vivify the wave of econo¬ 
mic and social freedom that washed 
over the planet in the closing hours 
of the 80’s and the beginning 
minutes of the 90’s. While we nor¬ 
mally get a crick in our neck when 
we read “instant histories” of the 
last decade or “immediate pro¬ 
jections” of the next, for Atarians 
it is quite clear that the Atari 800 
began it all in the early 80’s. And 
almost as clear is it that some 
device possessing the comput¬ 
ing power and speed of a main¬ 
frame, with highly intuitive software 
(maybe even some real artificial in¬ 
telligence) with graphics better than 
High Definition Television and fully 
integrated into the other electric 
tools of your life, e.g. phone & TV, 
and finally as portable as the Lynx 

is, all of that will be the Atari device 
that will stand out at the end of the 
next decade. You will order gro¬ 
ceries with it, telephone from your 
car with it, send all your mail with it, 
get your news and entertainment 
from it, and yes, even compute with 

it. Atari made? Yes, way back in the 
nether reaches of our CFV (crystal 
future viewer) we see Atari, still 
being unique and far less self-des¬ 
tructive with only pictures on its 
corporate wall to remind employees 
of the former management—the 
Tramiels. 

Birthing Pains 

Judging from the cries of 
anguish on GEnie, the pain of 
bringing pc-ditto // into the world 
may be considerable. Bill Teal of 


Avant-Garde Systems has appeared 
on GEnie to apologize. Teal started 
shipping pc-ditto II in quantity the 
second week in January. Then 
bang! the sky started falling. The 
relatively large 7.5" x 4" board 
wouldn’t fit in the 520ST or the 
1040’s, unless they were Revision C. 
They had to be attached by shield¬ 
ed cable to the outside the case. 
Most Mega ST’s needed a bus con¬ 
nector, supplied by Avant-Garde 
Systems, to attach to the 68000 
chip. But the real blow was what 


appears to be a glitch in the board 
itself. As we go to press, of those 
shipped, we still cannot find one 
that is up and running. Teal has 
announced the problem will be cor¬ 
rected asap. Because of the repu¬ 
tation he has garnered for product 
quality to date let’s give him the 
benefit of the doubt. 

The Up Side 

What Inspires Confidence? We 
all know it. We all know that some 
people have that rare quality of 
projecting a genuine display of 
interest in you and what you are 
saying, or that equally unique quality 
— you can have confidence in what 
they say, you can believe them. 
One of Atari’s “most senior” top 
managers, Bob Brody, the person in 
charge of user group support, 
among other things, appears to 
have a lot of the latter and much of 
the former qualities. He states with 
jocular humility that he has “been 
around” longer than many of his 
predecessors, and also his bosses. 


He demonstrates a serious commit¬ 
ment to user groups and their needs 
and problems, and where possible 
he tries to keep the record straight. 
As a one-man operation he obvi¬ 
ously won’t be at all the shows, but 
he does want to meet user groups, 
and he is up on GEnie regularly and 
will answer your questions there as 
well as phone calls to him at Atari. 
Several people have notified us that 
his performance on GEnie engen¬ 
ders something called “respect.” 
Recently, Brody implied that we 
might be accused of hyping Atari’s 
stock if we continued to propagate 
our “estimate” on Atari’s total daily 
sales of the Portfolio. (In December 
we had decimated a rumor that Atari 
expected to sell 70,000 Portfolio’s a 
day during the month; and noted at 
best it might be 7,000 a day.) Brody 
wanted the record to read a 
world-wide total by the end of 
December of 200,000 units ship¬ 
ped. We find this kind of straight 
forwardness with the facts quite 
reassuring. 

Then you have rumors from 
within Atari that one of the most 
rational, humble, and big league 
“guys” in Atari management, some¬ 
body who will listen, if not lead, is 
Charles Crouch, one of the highest 
level officers in the company who is 
not a Tramiel. Two quality types is 
too much, you say, for a corporation 
that spends more time on its sword 
than Dracula spends in his coffin. 

But how about three? The new 
head of the developers group, 
Charles Cherry, is dispatching a 
developers kit that provides serious 
developers with information on the 
base of registered Atari computer 
users, the Atari dealers, and the 
serious discounts available to de¬ 
velopers wishing to purchase Atari 
equipment. One source stated that 
means a developer can buy an Atari 
laser printer for $400 off the user 
price. It would seem he is making a 
credible effort to convince develop¬ 
ers that they can expect support. A 
difficult job, you might say, because 
of Atari’s history in this area? No 
worse than Gorbachev’s. So, for the 


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Page 8 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 










































































hopeful, those of us who care about 
keeping Atari up and running in 
America, these are three you might 
wish to encourage. 

The Down Side 

Even the space shuttle has to 
land sometime. But let’s have it be 
“a light one.” First, Atari seems to 
have forsaken the U.S. market, to a 
point where whispers are heard that 
they will abandon “this unforgiving 
market.” We have talked to half a 
dozen serious, articulate, Atari dedi¬ 
cated individuals, who have conclu¬ 
ded Sam Tramiel won’t listen. He is 
intelligent, he can be warm and 
pleasant, but in the final analysis he 
won’t listen. As the landing glide 
shortens, we should note that in less 
than five years, Atari’s reputation for 
doing business like Bush does 

Panama has made it difficult for 
them to get credit, anywhere. The 
Federated battery drain continues. 
G. Tramiel, youngest and most res¬ 
ponsive to new stimuli of the clan, 
hoped to present the family with “a 
done deal” as a Christmas present. 
He came close, but “heavy details”, 
like taking over 20-year leases 

which Atari had signed for when 

they made the original purchase, 

had to be negotiated. And finally, if 
ever there was a Darth Vader out 
there in electronic land waiting to kill 
off the new and the innovative then 
it has to be Atari’s enemy of ene¬ 
mies, the FCC. If there is a voodoo 
doll in Leonard Tramiel’s safe, stuf¬ 
fed with witch doctor pins, then it 
must look like the FCC. Without their 
approval the Stacey won’t be with 
us “home users” until at least June. 
Dealers who aren’t music stores or 
selling exclusively to businesses 
won’t be able to carry it until then. 
Reason: Class A FCC approval 
means business use only (not in 
homes where it can muck up the 
community electronic happiness.) 
And the same with the STE, already 
selling in Canada, as we’ve noted, 
but which won’t be available to 
non-business users until June. 


Atari Passes Apple 

This may be the beginning of 
the year that Atari passes Apple in 
the numbers of “units” sold. Last 
year Atari was ranked 5th in that 
category. The dollar comparison 
was something else. (Atari’s sales 
reportedly were $500,000,000 versus 
Apple’s $2,000,000,000.) But if the 
sale of the Portfolio continues un¬ 
abated, then the units-sold prize 
should go to Atari versus Apple, 
though the latter will still greet the 
former with a smile at the bank. 

The System Is There 

It’s been available for a couple 
of years, the Touch Screen System. 
Not many of us have been aware of 
it. Apparently it sells, at $15,000 a 
copy, rather well. What is it? The 
standard configuration is 2 Mega ST 
computers, 3 monitors (2 mono and 
1 color), a big hard drive and some 
fancy point-of-sales software. It 
provides the restaurant, or the 
beauty salon, or what have you, with 
a complete accounting, payroll, in¬ 
ventory, etc. system. One VAR 
which has sold a couple of dozen 
says that the trick is never to men¬ 
tion the word Atari until after the 
sale is complete. The computer and 
monitor part of the system have 
labels pasted over the Atari logo’s. 

The Lynx Affair 

Nintendo hit the Xmas field with 
1.1 million Game Boys. Industry 
analyst said they “hurt themselves” 
by not being able to meet the more 
than 3 million demand for the hand 
held computer game machine. Atari 
roared out of their “locker” onto the 
holiday selling arena with circa .07 
million Lynx color monitor hand held 
game machines. Those who had 
compared both machines, i.e. had 
them in hand and played a game or 
two on both, maintained that the 
Lynx was the hands down winner, 
“..most outstanding graphics you’ve 
seen; as good as an arcade 
machine; resolution less than an 
arcade machine, but in reduced size 
looks just as sharp; extraordinarily 
impressive machine, instantly there, 


no booting up or fooling around; 
Atari should sell several million of 
them....” 

That was before Xmas. What 
was the Christmas track record. 
Toys-R-Us hoped to have them in 
early December. B.N. Genius, a 
Washington-state Xmas catalogue 
and high-tech devices distributor, 
hoped to have them before 1 
December, as noted in the last 
issue. Sears had highlighted them in 
their Xmas ads. And of all of these 
sources where could you actually 
buy one? Atari at the end of 
November acknowledged to callers 
that they would “be available in N.Y. 
City, at F.A.O. Schwartz,” premier 
toy company of America. Calls to 
that store produced the info that 
they had received two shipments in 
two days and they were all gone 
immediately; the impression was 
that they had gotten less than three 
dozen machines. Sears told callers 
that they were “back ordered” and 
hopefully would be available by 21 
December. B.N. Genius said their 
shipment was due in on 24 Novem¬ 
ber, “something unusual must have 
happened to the truck.” They were 
back ordered, had ordered 155 and 
already had orders for 146. 

Then there was the Epyx 
“story.” Did Atari actually destroy its 
chances of penetrating the Nintendo 
Xmas game market, built by mega 
$$’s of Nintendo Saturday morning 
advertising over the past four years 
until the name of the game was 
“Nintendo” and no kid worth his salt 
would ask for anything else? Did 
Atari, famous for its “sharp business 
practices,” take a whack at Epyx for 
late deliveries that brought the 
company to its knees and in the 
process cut off Atari’s supply of 
Lynx machines? The Lynx develop¬ 
ers had been waiting for three 
months for their Lynx, developer’s 
documentation and Amiga 2000 
machines from Atari’s developer’s 
center at Lombard, Illinois. Amiga’s? 
Yes, all the development of software 
for the Lynx was being done on the 
Amiga! 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 9 



And why would Amiga develo¬ 
pers want to get behind the Lynx? 
High selling potential, and as R.J. 
Mical and David Needle, the inven¬ 
tors of the Lynx noted, “The Lynx is 
20,000 times more powerful than the 
Amiga sprite engine. The Lynx has 
unlimited sprite capacity.” What 
does that mean? Simply put, it tells 
us that you can have an unlimited 
number of objects moving around 
the Lynx screen at one time. Mical 
and Needle’s review in Electronics 
Game Monthly, published in Lom¬ 
bard, IL suggests that they watched 
the Atari development of the Lynx 
closely. 

So, who actually got one for 
Xmas and where were they able to 
get it? Well, New York got the lion’s 
share. Atari estimated it was better 
to “adequately” supply one market 
than trickle down in several. Sears 
did ship a few just before Xmas. 
And B.N. Genius sold all of theirs 
(see Lynx-Game Boy comparison 
elsewhere in this issue.) So that was 
70,000. Nobody will know how many 
more they could have sold. Manu¬ 
facturing has been moved from 
Japan to Taiwan. There, indeed, had 
been a problem with the company 
manufacturing the screens for the 
Lynx and Atari. It will be interesting 
to see how long it takes to resupply 
the market place. 

Marsupials 

The pouch is the thing. That’s 
where you carry your most prized 
possession, or at least marsupials 
do. Sensing this, Caseworks(4038-B 
128th Ave. S.E., Suite 294, Bellevue, 
WA 989006:800-829-0041) has 
produced the PCpouch, a small 
water-resistant nylon zippered case 
that carries your Portfolio, 3 RAM 
cards and 3 AA battery spares in a 
space not much bigger than the 
Portfolio itself, $24.95. If you’re into 
leather, add $25 more. 

The STE 

Dealer gossip has been that the 
ST with enhanced sound and 
graphics will not be sold in the U.S. 
until the 520’s and 1040’s have been 


sold off. While pressure on the 
dealers to take shipments of 1040’s 
might add fuel to this theory, the 
more likely culprit is the FCC. Atari 
maintains that you will see the STE 
on dealer shelves in the U.S. as 
soon as Atari has FCC approval. To 
buttress their statement, they point 
out that where FCC approval is not 
required, the STE is already selling 
and selling well, i.e. Canada. Word 
has it that Atari, U.S. built a shield 
for the STE, tested it themselves, 
found it met the specs, and then 
submitted it to our gracious U.S.G. 
Inexplicably it failed. But corrections 
have been made and you could be 
seeing the louder, gaudier STE 
soon, indeed, here in the U.S. 

Canadian sales, at least in 
Toronto, have been higher than 
dealers expected. It has been sell¬ 
ing at an average of $1,200 Cana¬ 
dian ($1 U.S. = $1.15 CAN), that 
includes a color monitor and a 1040 
STE, and reportedly has appeared 
as low as $700 discount. 

The down side of its “coming 
out party” has been the usual poor 
man’s approach to marketing it. The 
documentation for this the new Flag 
Ship of the line, is simply a 1040 ST 
manual with an addendum sheet; a 
sure fire way of convincing pro¬ 
spective buyers that there isn’t 
much new here. 

It comes with the new TOS 1.6 
(which may make the heads spin of 
those of us who don’t have TOS 1.4 
in our systems yet). There are the 
usual reports of incompatibilities. 
Current Notes author, Greg Csullog 
has discovered that the following 
programs are incompatible, i.e. just 
won’t run: Neodesk 2.05, Drafix, 
WordPerfect (‘87 vintage), Spelling 
Bee, and Bent/ey Bear. Also he 
notes that Pinhead, CIS II, and 
Headstart will not run from an auto 
folder. It has no internal clock! It 
does have the blitter. 

TV & the Teacher 

New Yorkers have always con¬ 
sidered themselves more advanced 
than denizens of other cities. And if 
you’re talking about seeing Atari ads 


on TV, it’s true once again. There 
the little guy is, raising his hand to 
get “permission” from the teacher. 
And there’s a second one, and then 
a third. In the restroom you see the 
first boy hide himself in a stall as he 
brings out his Lynx game machine. 
Then you see a teacher coming 
down the hall. He hears a noise, 
opens the restroom door, and there 
are the three little guys, all hooked 
up, stall by stall, by cable playing 
their Lynx. 

Wall St. Rose Garden 

Unless you’re a “market regu¬ 
lar” you probably don’t know what a 
“turn around pick” is. That’s an 
“opportunity stock.’’ And, 
apparently, Atari is looked at by at 
least one stockmarket analyst as a 
stock that is turning itself around 
and should be seriously considered. 
The analyst, in this instance, is the 
well-known Lee Isgur, who follows 
Atari stock closely from New York 
City and who also several years ago 
wrote a stock portfolio program for 
the ST, which sits on the shelf at our 
right. Isgur sees Atari as coming out 
of the '88 doldrums when its earn¬ 
ings were a minus $1.45 a share; 
essentially because of the $100 mil¬ 
lion write off of the Federated dis¬ 
aster. In 1989 he expects the num¬ 
bers to equal a +$.25-.45 a share, 
growing rapidly in 1990 to $1.50- 
2.50 and doubling to $2-$3 in 1991. 
He sees the Portfolio and Lynx as 
two of the main reasons for this 
reach to the stars. 

We are loath to go toe to toe 
with someone of Lee Isgur’s stock 
analysis renown. We should report, 
however, that Business Journal in 
it’s 8 Jan. issue quotes a $.09 loss 
per share for 3rd quar. ‘89 versus a 
$.02 per share profit for the same 
period in ’88. They also had Atari 
reporting a $.03 a share loss per 
share for all three quarters ending 
September 30, 1989 versus a $.21 
per share profit for the same nine 
months in 1988 (before the write off 
for Federated in the last quarter.) 
So, as they say, you looks at the 
numbers and you takes your pick. 


Page 10 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 



January, 1990 



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XE/XL UPDATE ♦ Len Poggiali 


New Print Shop Drivers. Innovative Concepts 
recently released three printer drivers for use with 
Broderbund’s Print Shop. They are PS Atari 1020 Driver, 
PS Okimate 10 Driver, and PS Epson LQ-500/800 
Driver. The first supports any one of four colors and 
does not modify the original disks. The Okimate 10 
version is similar but only prints in black. The third is 
made for the new 24-pin printers and also only prints in 
black. Each retails for $14.95. 

The author of the drivers is Jim Steinbrecher of 
Sector One Computers. Jim, the original author of the 
terminal program Amodem, is also responsible for 
another of I.C.’s products— Easy Scan (the Graphics 
Image Scanner for the Atari 8-bits). 

[Innovative Concepts, 311172 Shawn Drive, Warren, Mi 
48093, (313)293-0730.J 

Sharing Dreams. In an October, 1989 letter to CN, 
reader David Lei/y made some thoughtful observations 
and suggestions that Atari Corp. might well consider. 

“I would certainly love to see some of the new 
hand-held game machine’s technology passed on to 
us, in particular, a new OS that would support a fast 
65C02 microprocessor as well as memory upgrades 
past 320K that don’t disable one of the machine’s more 
attractive features, internal BASIC. Realistically speaking, 
this isn’t going to happen. No resources for it. One 
could also wish for a more enlightened (less predatory) 
Atari attitude toward third party developers. For exam¬ 
ple, BASIC XE burnt into ROM and a licensed disk 
version of SpartaDOS are “naturals.” The question is, 
could ICD survive the relationship? No doubt this 
thought is running through Alan Reeve’s mind as he 
puts the finishing touches on his Diamond application 
programs....” 

Mr. Lefly’s continues: “Replace the 65XE/130XE/ 
XEGS hodgepodge with a $100, 128K XEGS! Sell it with 
a coupon for an “XEGS Productivity Package” of DOS 
XE, and XF551 drive, a dual-mode (joystick/ST) mouse, 
the Diamond Cart/Diamond Write, Mavis Beacon 
Teaches Typing, and a decent printer, price-competitive 
with the low-end dedicated home word processors. Has 
anyone else noticed a game machine backlash? I’ve 
seen more and more friends sell their Nintendos or lock 
them up at work because Little Johnny was skipping 
studies and playing, getting up at 3 a.m. for a quickie 
and displaying other symptoms of addiction. A pure 
game machine is an expensive toy with a real potential 
for abuse. Besides, the XEGS is dated game techno¬ 
logy, and it will never go head-to-head with Nintendo’s 
marketing—so why not capitalize on its real strength of 
being more than a toy?” 

Later David describes his “realistic” 8-bit dream 
machine. “...320K, two cart slots and a parallel bus port, 


built-in XF551 and XEP80, and a detachable keyboard- 
a decent one at last (no XE junk please!) with a proper 
cable, F1-F4 keys and a numeric keypad. Don’t forget 
the ‘dual-mode’ mouse and Diamond. Build the console 
case so the add-on fan Kensington makes for the Apple 
II will fit. Not an impossible redesign, but a rationalized 
machine to create a user-base of the DSDD drive, 
80-column card and XE expanded memory that would 
support software development.” 

Our thanks to Dave for his insightful comments and 
for sharing his dreams with us. 

Is SpartaDOS for Me? Tim Fullerton, recently 
submitted a brief article concerning SpartaDOS. I have 
taken the liberty of including it in its entirety. It is entitled 
“Is SPARTADOS For Me? (What the other reviewers 
have missed).” 

After reading the comparison in the November issue 
of Current Notes between SpartaDOS and Atari DOS- 
XE, I felt that I had to put in my two cents’ worth. Please 
don’t get me wrong, Terry Cowen did a good job of 
bringing out the best points of both operating systems, 
but there are two or three things that were glossed over 
that I find important. 

No, you don’t need to spend $150 to enjoy the 
benefits of SpartaDOS. I only spent $40 for the Con¬ 
struction Set. Granted, the SpartaDOS-X on cartridge is 
nice, but since DOS 2.5 was on disk, I did not begrudge 
my new DOS also being on disk. 

Okay, repeat after me, “I hate command line 
operating systems. Why should I have to memorize 
eleventy-zillion commands?” A menu-driven DOS is so 
much easier. All of your options are right on the screen 
in front of you. Surprise, ICD heard us! The MENU utility 
of SpartaDOS is a joy to use. The only command-line 
commands that I have had to memorize are “DOS,” 
“RD D3:” (to set up a RAMdisk) and “MENU.” 

Copying programs is a breeze. You don’t even have 
to use wildcards. A disk directory appears on the 
screen. Use the arrow keys and space bar to highlight 
the files that you want copied. Tell the computer where 
you want them to go and copy them. Since I had the 
RAMBO 256K upgrade installed, I typically copy to the 
RAMdisk and then to my destination disk. It sounds 
more cumbersome than it actually is. 

A lot of DOS 2.5 users feel intimidated by all of the 
references to Directories and Subdirectories. What’s that 
all about? It’s like making one disk pretend that it’s two 
or three disks. For instance, I put driving games and 
maze games on one disk but under different directory 
headings just to keep them separate. Why bother? Think 
for a minute, how is a hard disk partitioned? Yep, make 
it pretend that it’s a whole bunch of floppy drives. Also, 
as hard disk drives get bigger and faster it won’t be long 


Page 12 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 





before the older ones come up for sale at bargain 
prices by their owners who wish to upgrade. By owning 
SpartaDOS now, you’ll be ready when you make the big 
leap to a hard drive. 

I’ll admit that I’m a fan of ICD. In addition to owning 
RAMBO XL, I installed US Doublers in my 1050 drives. 
ICD’s commitment to quality products, documentation 
and technical support is a boon to us who don’t yet 
want to part with our beloved Atari 8-bits.” 

Winter Challenge Deal. Larry Estep, who occa¬ 
sionally contributes to this column, has been in touch 
with the people at Software Discounters of America 
(SDA) concerning the availability of 8-bit products. 
Recently, SDA halted sales of Atari software; however, 
the company has a supply of titles remaining in its 
warehouse. One of these is Winter Challenge, a five- 
event Winter Olympics game from Thunder Mountain. 
The game was never widely released, but from all 
accounts it is a gem. 

Larry has asked me to tell you that he will order 
copies of WC from his SDA contact. The price for the 
program, including postage, will be $12.50. If you would 
like to order a copy, send Larry a check or money 
order. His address is 524 Roseview Terrace, New 
Albany, Indiana 47150. 

Martian Light Phasar (MALP). (These light gun 
items are by John Pilge, a contributor from California. 
John has written a tic-tac-toe game employing the 
light gun. He wonders if his is the first public domain 
title for the gun. -LP) 

The Martian Light Phasar by Mars Merchandising is 
a Sega Light Phaser. There is more difference than just 
re-spelling phaser. The Light Phaser has been rewired 
to work on the Atari and has been relabeled. 

Mars Merchandising could have rewired the Nin¬ 
tendo light gun. I’m glad they chose the Sega Light 
Phaser. The trigger has less travel than the Nintendo 
model and allows better accuracy. Besides, the plug on 
the Sega matches the Atari game ports. 

The MALP is compatible with the Atari light gun. 
Whatever game works with the Atari light gun will work 
with the MALP. Both Atari and MALP have excellent feel 
in firing. The trigger has little travel; the firing is done at 
the end of the travel so there is less error in shooting. 

A program comes with the MALP so you can test it. 
It isn’t much of a game. It just shows your choice of 
targets and marks where your shots are aimed. But 
Mars Merchandising does sell games for the MALP that 
also work with the Atari light gun. 

[Mars Merchandising, 1041B E. St. Charles Road, Lom¬ 
bard, /L 60148(312)530-0988.] 

High Scores with the Light Gun. Games like 
Barnyard Blaster, Crossbow and Crime Buster need a 
light gun. Although a light gun is just a light pen with an 


extra lens, you need to use the same techniques as a 
pistol. These shooting tips should help your score on 
light gun games. 

Center the back of the light gun stock in the palm of 
your hand. Wrap the lower three fingers around the 
stock as far as you can reach. Since there is no recoil 
from shooting a light gun, you can relax your hand. The 
most pressure on the gun is from your middle finger, 
with no pressure from the little finger. Any pressure from 
the little finger can ruin your aim. Do not tighten or 
loosen the grip while shooting. Keeping the pressure of 
the grip constant will keep the light gun steady. You do 
not need much pressure on a light gun. Keep your hand 
relaxed, and you will be able to outlast the game. 

For a steady grip, it would be best to rest your 
shooting arm on a desk or chair. You can use your 
other arm to steady your shooting arm in this position. 

Line up the sights of the light gun. Look and focus 
on the sights. The target should look fuzzy. If the target 
is clear and the sights are fuzzy, you are looking at the 
target instead of the sights. When moving the aim to a 
new target, don’t just move your wrist. Move your arm, 
so you can aim better. 

Finger position on the trigger is where it is comfor¬ 
table. Every time you change your grip, your accuracy 
will change. Shooters who use the second joint of the 
finger have a tendency to pull to the right, while 
shooters who use the extreme tip of the finger tend to 
press left. When shooting, trigger finger pressure is 
directly to the rear. The best way to do this is to think of 
a spot directly behind the light gun stock and press 
toward it. Any pressure other than straight to the rear 
moves the light gun off target. After you have the 
basics, it is just a matter of practice. 

The light gun works similar to the light pen. Memory 
locations 564 or 54284 (565 or 54285) are both the 
horizontal (vertical) position of the light pen. PEEKing 
both 564 and 565 will show the LAST screen position of 
the light gun even when you move it off the screen. The 
position of the light pen does not correspond to graphic 
pixels of any graphic screen. There are 96 vertical 
positions numbered from 16 at the top to 111 at the 
bottom. According to “Mapping The Atari,” the horizon¬ 
tal positions start at 67 on the left, are reset to zero at 
255 and continue to 7 at the far right of the screen. This 
didn’t work on my TV set. Mine starts at 89 on the left, 
resets to 0 after 227, and continues to 24 on the far 
right. 

The light gun does not replace a joystick nor can 
you use a mouse or paddles to work as a light gun. The 
light gun’s trigger does not work like a joystick fire 
button. For the light gun, the command STICK(O) reads 
the trigger (zero for port one or one for port two). If the 
trigger is squeezed, STICK(O) reads 15. STICK(O) reads 
14 otherwise. If this were a joystick, 14 would mean the 
joystick is pressed forward, and 15 would mean the 
joystick is centered (at rest). 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 13 




More on Shielding a Mega 

Last month I outlined a pro¬ 
cedure that essentially shielded the 
disk drive cable inside a Mega. The 
reason we did this was to make the 
GCR more reliable in reading Mac 
formatted disks. In the procedure, I 
stated that the disk drive itself did 
not require additional shielding 
because it already contained a 
shield (which it does). I have since 
discovered that adding additional 
shielding to the drive mechanism 
itself can improve GCR operation 
even more. 

Another Procedure 

Open the Mega again. Remove 
the disk drive and cut a piece of 
aluminum foil large enough to wrap 
the entire drive. After wrapping the 
drive, cut away ONLY the sections 
of aluminum foil that need to be 
exposed for remounting (such as 
tapped holes, cable connectors, 
etc). Now wrap the drive with some 
bare wire and connect the bare wire 
to some ground point in your sys¬ 
tem. Your drive is now shielded! 
Remount the drive and connect the 
drive cables and now you’re in 
business. 

On to PostScript 

In this and the next couple of 
months I will be discussing the 
PostScript page description 
language. This information is quite 
important for Spectre users who 
wish to use an Apple LaserWriter or 


Introducing 

PostScript 


Atari Laser for their publishing 
needs. With the recent introduction 
of UltraScript for the HP DeskJet, I 
have personally became interested 
in PostScript. The quality of output 
produced with this combination will 
shock you. It has been a very con¬ 
venient combination for learning 
PostScript programming and pro¬ 
ducing exceptional drafts before 
they are sent to the laser printer. 

Most of my information has 
been obtained by word of mouth 
with friends in the “publishing busi¬ 
ness” (in other words, anybody who 
owns a desktop publishing pro¬ 
gram!). Don’t let that scare you, I 
did do my homework and read the 
book titled Understanding Post¬ 
Script Programming by David A. 
Holzgang. Two other books I find 
useful are the PostScript Language 
Reference Manual and PostScript 
Language Tutorial and Cookbook, 
both by Adobe Systems. 

I have also found that people 
are scared of transverting files from 
the Mac to the ST for printing. I will 
admit it, I was, too! But once an 
understanding of “what you are 
doing” is gained, the whole process 
is much easier. 

Of Printing and Printers 

Everyone knows that to produce 
good looking output (i.e.pages of 
print), we need a good high quality 
printer along with a good print dri¬ 
ver. The “standard” printer is a 9- 
pin dot matrix and Epson compat¬ 
ible. I call this the “standard” 
because of the shear number of 
them sold. Just about everyone has 
owned one or two. 

The print quality of the 9-pin 
was great when we bought it, but 


now is just seems to lack something 
(at least mine does)? When we 
wanted to improve the quality, most 
of use were told that what we really 
needed was a letter quality printer. 
This new printer probably sported a 
24-pin dot matrix print head. We 
were told that the more pins the 
print head contained the better. 
After we purchased this new printer 
we soon discovered we also 
needed a new printer driver to 
“control” this printer. If we didn’t get 
the right driver for the right program, 
our output might not look any better 
that the “old” 9-pin or, worse yet, it 
may not work at all! 

What Does 9-pin Mean? 

There are several ways get out¬ 
put these days. Printers come in all 
shapes and sizes. One of the most 
common ways of printing text and/ 
or graphics is to “press” ink from a 
ribbon onto the surface of the 
paper. This is what a dot matrix 
printer does. In fact a dot matrix 
printer is little different that an 
ordinary typewriter! A typewriter 
simply strikes a character (letter) 
onto the page by pressing the 
shape of the character on the prin¬ 
ter ribbon. A dot matrix printer 
simply presses a very thin wire onto 
the ribbon (somewhat like striking 
the period character except the wire 
is much smaller in diameter). 

If we take several wires (let’s 
say oh...9) and place them side by 
side vertically we could form a 
character by controlling the striking 
of all those wires while moving the 
print head horizontally. Yes, all of 
that happens while you’re printing. 
That’s why dot matrix printers make 
such awful noises when printing. 


Page 14 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 






You will often see the term 9-wire 
instead of 9-pin; they both mean 
the same thing. 

You might think that in order for 
an ST program to “control” a print¬ 
er, a huge number of calculations 
must take place in order to control 
all those wires. You think correctly 
(well almost). If we on/y print text, all 
of the work to control those wires is 
being performed inside the printer. 
That’s because most printers con¬ 
tain enough brains to print text. In 
fact, most printers contain enough 
built-in information to print text in 
several different flavors, such as 
bold, italic, underlined , superscript, $ub _ 
script and so on... The only thing the 
program must do is tell the printer 
when to “turn on and off” the vari¬ 
ous modes of operation. For exam¬ 
ple, if we want to turn on bold 
printing, we would send the printer 
the numbers 27 and 71 if the printer 
was Epson compatible. To turn off 
bold print, we would need to send it 
the numbers 27 and 72. 

Epson Compatible? 

It couldn’t have been longer 
than five years ago that almost 
every printer made contained its 
own special way of turning on and 
off the various modes (bold, ita¬ 
lic,...). This became a nightmare for 
programmers and users alike. Most 
programs required you to run a 
special “printer installation” program 
at least once to set up your printer. 
The procedure required you to look 
up special codes contained in the 
back of your printer manual and 
enter them into the computer! (It 
wasn’t all that long ago). Nowadays, 
if the printer is designated as Epson 
compatible, then it means it follows 
a standard format for telling the 
printer how to go into the various 
modes. If you’re looking into pur¬ 
chasing a dot-matrix printer, make 
certain it is Epson compatible! 

Now if we want to print 
graphics, guess what? Yes, we (i.e. 
the programmer) must control the 


movement of each and every one of 
those 9 wires! Now we start getting 
into some tricky calculations. If we 
decide to buy a 24-pin printer, then 
the program must make a different 
set of calculations. This is why a 
different printer driver is required. 
The printer driver contains the infor¬ 
mation the program needs to make 
the correct calculations. If you don’t 
have the right driver for your printer, 
all sorts of strange results can 
occur. 

To sum up, if you’re going to 
print only text, a 24-pin printer will 
look much better and here’s why. 

Of Resolution 

The height of standard printed 
text is 1/8 inch (0.125 inch). That’s 
the length of the 9-pins that are 
placed side by side vertically. If we 
divide the text height (0.125 inches) 
by number of pins used to print it (9 
pins), we find out the diameter of 
the wires. The number is 0.125/9 
which equals 0.01389 inches. That’s 
pretty small! In fact, if we invert this 
number (i.e. 1/0.01389) we find out 
that we could fit 72 pins side by side 
in one inch! This is the printers 
resolution! 

The higher the printers resolu¬ 
tion, the higher the print quality. This 
is because the manufacturer has a 
“finer grid” to construct characters 
used for printing. 

We just discovered that our 9- 
pin printer has a resolution of 72 
dots per inch. What is the resolution 
of a 24-pin printer? Performing the 
same calculations we find it to be 
192 dots per inch! You will often see 
numbers such as there floating 
around in computer printer manuals. 
In fact most printers are able to 
obtain higher resolutions depending 
on the various tricks the manufac¬ 
turer plays when designing the 
printer. Also, don’t be totally convin¬ 
ced that an inexpensive 24-pin 
printer will always look better than a 
9-pin! Take a look at the print qua¬ 
lity before you buy. 


Other Printers 

There are several methods to 
get a printed page. It so happens 
that a dot matrix printer is only one 
type in a now huge fishbowl. The 
first alternative that comes to mind 
is the ink jet printers now available. 
An ink jet produces output by drip¬ 
ping tiny drops of ink onto the page. 
The ink, as you might think, is wet 
for a short time after printing. Print 
resolutions up to 300 dots per inch 
can be achieved! 

Laser printers are now starting 
to get popular with the continuing 
price reductions. Most laser printers 
can achieve resolutions up to 300 
dots per inch also. (Even though the 
resolution is the same as the ink jet 
the print quality is clearer, the dots 
are better formed). Resolutions up 
to 2,000-2,400 dots per inch can be 
achieved on professional type¬ 
setting machines. 

The Resolution Problem 

Well, you can see the resolution 
of printers can vary all over the map, 
from 72 dots per inch to 2,000 and 
more. Now it should be apparent 
how much work is involved in print¬ 
ing anything to do with graphics. 
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an 
easier way? Wouldn’t it be much 
easier if we could simply forget the 
printers resolution and just tell the 
printer what to draw? Such as a line, 
a circle, a square? 

The problem of entering all the 
numbers into some printer installa¬ 
tion program was solved by settling 
on a standard way of sending text to 
the printer. The printer took care of 
actually printing the text at the 
highest resolution it could! What 
about a standard for graphics? 

Introducing PostScript 

PostScript is the standard for 
describing graphics, much like 
Epson is the standard on how to 
print text. When we wanted an 
“Epson compatible” printer to print 
bold text, we sent it the numbers 27 
and 71. When we want a PostScript 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 15 




Spectre CN Library Disks 


printer to print a circle, we send it 
the “arc” command. If we want a 
PostScript printer to draw a line, we 
send it the “lineto” command. 
Starting to make sense? 

At this point you’re probably 
thinking, “PostScript is just a set of 
commands to print graphics.” 
Right? Wrong! PostScript is a full 
blown computer language! In fact it 
is an interpreted language much like 
BASIC. When you print a page using 
a PostScript printer, you are actually 
sending a computer program to the 
printer! The program is written in a 
language called, what else, Post¬ 
Script. After the program is trans¬ 
ferred to the printer, the program 
runs, and (hopefully) a page is pro¬ 
duced! 

Next month we will continue on 
with our discussion of PostScript. 
We will be covering, among other 
topics, how the Atari handles Post¬ 
Script, how the Mac handles it, and 
how to mix the two and produce 
some surprisingly good results! 


This month, Current Notes is 
releasing five new public domain 
and Shareware Spectre compatible 
(128K ROMs) library disks. For those 
of you using the Spectre with 64K 
ROMs, I recommend the excellent 
CN Magic library listed elsewhere. If 
you like and use any of the files, 
don’t forget to make 
your shareware dona¬ 
tion^) to the author(s). 

Here is a rundown of 
what each of the new 
disks contain: 

S47D, S48D: 

Phoenix, an inter¬ 
active adventure game 
based on the movies 
2001 and 2010, 
requires both disks. 

Your job is to map pre- 
viously explored 
galaxies, but you accidently find the 
starship, Discovery. It never was 
destroyed. You must somehow get 


Discovery back to earth using HAL. 
HAL responds to your commands 
with digitized voice sounds from 
both movies. (Requires version 1.9 
or higher of Spectre, and two dou¬ 
ble-sided drives or a Hard Disk.) 

S49: Lawn Zapper, an arcade 
type game. The object of the game 


is to mow a lawn while avoiding 
hazards. This game has digitized 
sound and is quite addictive. 
(Requires version 1.9 or higher of 
Spectre). 

S50: Dungeons of Doom, 
Version 5.4. This is an interactive 
adventure game based on 
Dungeons and Dragons. If you 
enjoyed the 4.0 version of this 
game, you’ll enjoy this, the most 
recent version, even more. 

S51D: Postscript Fonts #1, 
contains 11 Postscript Type 3 fonts 
for a postscript printer or, using 
Transverter, moved over to the ST 
side and printed out using Ultra- 
script. There is a file on the disk 
called Using Ultrascript with instruc¬ 
tions on how to create Postscript 
files and print them out. The fonts 
on this disks are: Archimedes Bor¬ 
der, Bill’s Dingbats, Classic Heavy, 
Classic Italic, Classic Roman, Draft- 
man, Faust, Gordon, Style, Tiny 
Helvetica, and Toulouse Lautrec. 


CN Library, 122 N. Johnson Rd, Sterling, 
VA 22170. Disks are $4 ea+$1/(6 disks) for 
shipping & handling. 


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 


Classic Heavy' IS Point 

Classic Heavy IS Point 

Classic Italic IS Point 

Classic Italic 18 Point 

Classic Roman 12 Point 

Classic Roman 18 Point 

draftsman 12 Pt 

P raftsman \Q> Pt 

tFinistus 32 ipotnt 

ZFmxstiis 38 iputtit 

Gordon 12 Point 

Gordon Arwj Point /ire 

Se*U tZ 7*** 

Style. 

Jouloueel^utrea 12 poipt 

Joulousel^utree t8 poipt 


Sample of PostScript 
fonts available on 
Spectre disk #S51D. 



Page 16 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 
























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AERCO RAM Brd.135 

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w2MB RAM.285 

w4MB RAM.435 

Apple 128K ROMS.130 

Altered Beast.26 

Arcade Force Four.30 

4 games in 1 package 

Articfox.15 

Atari Bentley Bear Series 

Alphabet Tutor.21 

Equation Builders.21 

General Store.21 

Magical Anagrams.21 

Magical Math 1/2/3..ea21 
Magic Spelling Bee.21 


Memory Math 1/2 ...ea 21 


Atari Laser Ptr Accessory 

Replacement Drum... 190 


Initial Toner. 

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Regular Toner. 

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Atari SF314 DS Drive.. 

160 

Atari ST/MEGA Mouse. 

..45 

Austerlitz. 

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BAAL. 

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Backgammon. 

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Balance of Power 1990 

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‘Best’ Mouse. 

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Bloodwych. 

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Data Disk #1. 

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Books 


Drives Inside & Out... 

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GEM Program Ref. 

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Helpful Hints for ST... 

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ST Internals. 

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Borodino. 

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Breach 2. 

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Bulk 3.5” DS Disks 

Quantity 1-49.ea .69 

Quantity 50-99.ea .64 

Quantity 100+.ea .59 

C-Breeze.38 

Calamus 1.09.174 

Calamus Font Editor.60 


Cardinal 2400 Modems 


MB2400EX.105 

MB2400MNP.170 

Chaos Strikes Back.24 

Chord Magic.44 

Clean-Up ST!.26 

Cluedo Master Detective 26 

Color Computereyes.179 

Comptr Guide Solar Sys.34 

Conflict: Europe.31 

Cordless Mouse.90 

Cover - Various.CALL 

Cyber Control 1.1.38 

Cyber Design Disks...CALL 

Cyber Paint 2.0.48 

Cyber Studio 2.0.54 

dBMan 5.2 wCompiler ..165 

dBMan 5 Compiler.80 

DC Utilities.19 

Death Bringer.26 

DEGAS Elite.38 

Deja Vu II.31 

Desktop Publisher ST.79 

Devpac ST v2.60 

Diamond Back 1.04.25 

Double Dragon.25 

Double Dragon II.26 

Dr. Dooms Revenge!.31 

Dragons of Flame.27 

Dungeon Master.24 

DynaCADD 1.7.580 

Enterprise.26 

Falcon.31 

Falcon Mission Disk.17 

Ferrari Formula One.33 

Fighter Bomber.38 

Flash 1.6.20 

GFA Basic 3.0.60 

wCompiler.85 

Ghostbuster II.31 

Ghouls ’n’ Ghost.26 

Gold Rush.26 

Gridiron - Football Sim ...20 

Hard Drive Turbo Kit.38 

Hard Drivin*.26 

Hellraider.27 

Heroes of Lance.27 

Hillsfar.33 

ICD Host Adaptors.95 

Indus DS Drives 

GTSIOOx.160 

GTS 100.170 

Interlink ST 1.85.25 

Interphase.31 

Iron Lord.30 

Joysticks.CALL 


King of Chicago.17 

Kings Quest 1/2/3.ea 30 

Kings Quest 4.31 

Laser C Compiler 2.1 ... 110 

Laser DB Debugger.50 

LDW Power 1.11.90 

Leisure Suit Larry 1.25 

Leisure Suit Larry 2.31 

Magnum IV.39 

Afterburner - Oper. Wolf 
Double Dragon - Batman 

Manhunter 1.30 

Manhunter 2.31 

Mark Williams C.105 

Mark Williams Debug.44 

Menace.13 

Monitor Master.34 

Moonwalker.26 

Mouse Master.27 

NeoDesk 2.05.31 

Icon Collection.3 

North & South.31 

Note Wizard.44 

Omega.31 

pcDitto. 65 

pcDitto II....243 

pcSpeed 1.3.330 

Pagestream 1.8.120 

Paperboy.24 

Phasar 4.0.56 

Pirates.29 

Police Quest 1.30 

Police Quest 2.31 

Populous.33 

Promise Lands.19 

Powerdrift.31 

Powerdrome.27 

Precious Metal.31 

4 games in 1 package 
Prince.31 


Side Arms.14 

Space Ace.38 

Space Quest 1/2.ea 30 

Space Quest 3.31 

Spectre 128.124 

Spectre GCR.216 

Spectrum 512.44 

STalker 2.0.19 

Star Wars Trilogy.31 

Starbreaker.26 

ST/ime 520/1040 Clock..45 

STOS.40 

STOS Compiler.24 

STOS Games Galore.25 

STOS Maestro.34 

STOS Maestro Plus.100 

STOS Sprites 600.24 

Stunt Tracker Racer.26 

Strider.26 

Super Hang-On.26 

Switchblade.26 

Tempest (Game).26 

Tempest II.48 

Tetris.22 

The Story So Far #1.25 

The Story So Far #3.25 

Thrill Time Platinum II.31 

8 games in 1 package 

T.I.G.E.R.90 

TIME.38 

Touch-Up.120 

wHand Scanner.420 

Triad Volume 1.25 

Triad Volume 2.31 

BAAL-Menace-Tetris 

Turbo Jet.27 

Turbo Outrun.26 

Turbo ST 1.8.33 

TV Sports Football.31 

Tweety Board.30 


Z-Ram 3-D/4 MEG Brd.. 118 

w2MB RAM.275 

w4MB RAM.425 

Codehead Software 

Codehead Utilities #3.18 

G+Plus 1.3.21 

HotWire 1.41.24 

HotWire +.36 

(Hot Wire & Maxi File) 

MaxiFile 2.0.21 

MidiMax.30 

Multi Desk 1.83.18 

Ralph C. Turner Books 

Atari ST Subjects.14 

The Atari ST Book.14 

(Both for $25.00) 
Cables 

3’ DMA Hard Drive.16 

4’ ST to IBM Floopy.15 

6’ ST Disk Drive.15 

6' ST Monitor.16 

10’ MIDI Set (2pcs).13 

Blitz Cable (Deluxe).40 

Blitz Cable (Regular).30 

Mega ST Keybrd Extn 

6’ Cable.7 

9’ Cable.9 

12’ Cable.11 

15* Cable.13 

European ST Mags 

Action ST.6 

Atari ST User w/Disk.8 

ST Format w/Disk.8 

ST World.7 

(6 months, postage incld) 

Action ST.39 

Atari ST User.51 

ST Format.51 

ST World.45 


Kalmar Teak Boxes 


Pro Tour Tennis.27 

Pro Copy 1.6.22 

Prospero C for GEM.125 

Prospero Fortran GEM. 125 
Prospero Pascal GEM....95 

Quartet.38 

Quick ST.15 

Red Lightning.39 

Red Storm Rising.29 

Replay 4.80 

Rick Dangerous.22 

Robo Cop.26 

Rocket Ranger.31 

RVF Honda.26 

Scale Magic.44 

Shufflepuck Cafe.25 


Ultima IV.38 

Ultima V.39 

Ultrascript ST-1.145 

Ultrascript Fonts.CALL 

Universal Item Select II.. 14 

Video Key.65 

Vidi ST.140 

War Middle Earth.31 

Waterloo.31 

Winners.38 

4 games in 1 package 

Wordflair.63 

Word Perfect 4.1.140 

Word Up 2.0.48 

Word Writer ST.48 

Xenon II.30 


3.5" holds 45, 4 tabs.19 

3.5" holds 90, 8 tabs.27 

3.5" holds 120, 12 tabs... 35 
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System wAltered Beast 188 

Genesis Control Pad.20 

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Tape Back-Up System . 775 
W50MB 40ms Drive. 1099 
W50MB 28ms Drive .1130 
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all our hard drive sys¬ 
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The Junkyard 
Pussycat 

by 
John 
Barnes 


The Computer as Toaster? 

In Charles Cherry’s newsletter to developers he 
introduces the “purchaser of the computer-appliance.” 
This is said to be a buyer who expects to do only one 
thing with his computer. This purchaser is described as 
someone who does not read magazines, does not join 
user groups, does not go online, and does not look for 
other applications. 

The millions of MS-DOS machines in American 
homes, the millions of application packages that have 
been brought home from the office, the thousands of 
tons of magazine paper devoted to PC magazines, and 
the yards of PC related books on the shelf at any book 
store all bear eloquent witness to the fact that home 
computer buyers are knowledgeable and anxious to 
learn more. 

The resistance to products that are not MS-DOS 
compatible is a sign that ordinary users have learned to 
tame a user-hostile operating system and make it do 
their work for them. 

The idea of the computer-appliance when seen in 
this light appears to be a piece of wishful thinking 
conjured up at Atari Corporation. By stripping out as 
much added value as possible to keep the price down 
the Tramiels and their minions thought that they could 
get their computers into every household by marketing 
the machines like toasters, electric shavers, or stereos. 
By avoiding a heavy commitment to developer and user 
support Atari figured to save themselves lots of financial 
and personnel problems. 

It is time for Atari to admit that this approach has 
been a failure. Other vendors have been far more 
successful at getting their products into homes and 
offices. 

The installed base of Atari machines is too small to 
make the market attractive to developers who have 
been feasting on megabuck sales in the MS-DOS 
world. ST software developers who have introduced 
promising products have found the pickings so slim that 
they do not support continued upgrades or even bug 



fixes. Timeworks, Word Perfect, and Generic Software 
are cases in point. 

Atari claims to be targeting the “personal” comput¬ 
ing market but it is doing so with hardware that goes far 
beyond this market. Atari has always had problems with 
this lack of engineering focus. The ST may have been 
too sophisticated a machine for the market targeted by 
the Tramiels. The SLM804 laser printer is a very clever 
engineering stroke, but the lack of good printer drivers 
to handle simple tasks has been crippling. At a cost of 
$4000 or so for hardware and another $500 or more for 
software this system is only for the most avid home 
user. The CD-ROM has been sitting in the warehouse 
for a long time now because no one has done the 
software development to make it useful. The ATW and 
the TT are obviously not machines aimed at the home 
market. 

The software side of the issue tells a similar tale. 
Atari struck out on an untrodden path while the other 
developers entered the home computer market with 
software that was a logical outgrowth of a familiar, if 
deficient, system. 

Atari entered this fray without committing the 
resources needed to make it all the way through. 

These were basic business decisions, perhaps even 
bold ones, but they will succeed only if Atari can get 
help from friendly natives along the way. It will have to 
create a climate that encourages people to write soft¬ 
ware for the ST and its yet-to-be-born brethren. 

The new initiatives for developers described else¬ 
where in this issue might prove helpful if they can be 
backed with enough money and talent. Unfortunately, 
these initiatives appear to be mainly oriented toward 
marketing and do not yet address the issue of technical 
support. It is not clear how they will lead to the writing 
of new software. 

Developers with whom I have spoken have 
expressed a lot of frustration over the quality and 
quantity of assistance they have received from Atari. 
The most successful ones seem to have done it largely 
on their own. They may not need the kind of help that 
Atari proposes to provide. 

Sophisticated users are another class of friends 
who could be most helpful. There are too many cases 
where Atari personnel have said “that kind of informa¬ 
tion is only available to registered developers.” The 
number of good public domain programs available 
bears eloquent witness to the programming ability of 
these sophisticated users. When you are coming from 
behind, as Atari clearly is, perhaps you take your friends 
where you find them. 

To summarize, if Atari Corporation wishes to remain 
in business as a manufacturer of computers, it should 
act like a computer company rather than a consumer 
electronics company or a toy company. It should 
provide high quality hardware adapted to real comput¬ 
ing tasks and it should stimulate the development of 


Page 18 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 




high quality software across the complete range from 
development tools to business applications. The fea¬ 
tures of its systems should be well-documented and 
this documentation should be widely available. 

Perhaps, on the other hand, Mr Cherry’s reference 
to “computer-appliances” should be interpreted as a 
sign that Atari is being seduced by a perceived success 
of the Portfolio, which may, indeed, be a true com¬ 
puter-appliance, and which seems to have outsold (in 
numbers) the ST’s in the United States. The Lynx may 
yet prove to be another success story. If Atari can 
overcome some of its problems, it may be able to make 
lots of money as a computer-appliance manufacturer. 

In this context, the 680XX based product lines are 
surely nothing more than a distraction. What will 
become of the STacy, the STE, and the TT’s? Only time 
will tell, but time is running out fast. 

It would not be fair to make such an issue of a 
single phrase unless that phrase were particularly apt as 
a capsule summation of Atari’s approach as we have 
seen it stated and restated over the years. Thank you, 
Mr Cherry, for the “computer-appliance.” 

The Spectre of Christmas Present 

After nearly a year of being beguiled by a Mac IIX in 
his office, the Junkyard Pussycat let it be known that a 
Spectre GCR with a set of Apple 128k ROMs would 
make a nice Christmas present. The earlier Magic Sac 
and the Spectre 128 were not attractive because they 
were too “klugy.” Mrs. Pussycat got hold of a Spectre 
GCR kit at L&Y Electronics and the Pussycat himself 
has been spending the last couple of weeks learning 
how to cozy up to it. 

The following perceptions are presented in the hope 
of giving Current Notes readers a view that might be 
different from that provided by some of the other 
Magic/Spectre material in Current Notes. 

Dave Small’s place in history is assured for the work 
that he has done in giving a poor, starving Atari 
community a gateway into the opulence of the Macin¬ 
tosh world. 

Bringing the system up is not altogether a trivial 
matter because the ST’s hardware is not totally com¬ 
patible with that of the Macintosh. Dave Small and 
friends have been plagued by the fact that certain disk 
drives on Atari machines (e.g., the GTS 100) are simply 
not compatible with the signals needed to read and 
write Mac disks, the built in disk drives on Megas pick 
up spurious signals unless they are modified, the Atari 
monochrome monitor gives off interference, and the 
signal level on the disk drive bus must be adjusted to an 
optimal value. There is a good bit of pain to go with the 
pleasure. This stuff is not in the manual and has to be 
picked up from local gurus or visits to the Gadgets by 
Small Roundtable on GEnie. 

The Pussycat’s configuration is perhaps a Cadillac 
version because it uses a Syquest 44 removable car¬ 


tridge as the drive for all of the Mac part of my software. 
It also runs on 4 megs of memory with a monochrome 
monitor. The removable hard drive pack is formatted for 
a small GEM partition to hold the Spectre software for 
the Atari side, a small MFS partition for converting files 
from Mac Format to Atari format, and a large Mac HFS 
partition. Since all of this is admittedly gibberish to the 
non-Macophile, it suffices to say that this configuration 
does not use up any hard drive space when the Spectre 
is not in use. Because the hard disk cartridge with the 
Spectre stuff can simply be swapped out for something 
else. 

Disk space is a critical issue because Mac applica¬ 
tions tend to be disk-intensive. Friends who own Macs 
without hard drives seem to be swapping disks all of the 
time and there are a number of applications that simply 
must run from a hard disk. 

Memory is also an issue, and 520 users might not 
find the environment very satisfying because they will 
have somewhat less memory available than does a Mac 
512. Some of the Pussycat’s Mac Plus acquaintances 
find that 2 megs of memory is barely enough for heavy 
graphics work. Mega 2 and Mega 4 users should find 
satisfaction. 

Dave Small points out that the tricks that are done 
to make Spectre run on a color monitor are really not 
satisfactory and he advises using a monochrome moni¬ 
tor. There is no support at all for color Mac applications. 

The Macintosh trick of making the ejection of floppy 
disks from the drive a hardware function is designed to 
help the user avoid shooting himself in the foot. Since 
the ST does not have this function the GBS crew 
provides a workaround via the F-keys that seems to 
work reasonably well. 

The GBS gang did some of their best work for those 
who have SLM804 laser printers. The built-in Imagewri- 
ter emulation is very nice and quick for doing screen 
dumps and simple printouts. The trick of snatching 
Postscript output into a text file and printing it using 
Ultrascript in the Atari mode produces very nice output. 

The main obvious flaw in the Spectre GCR is the 
documentation. All of Dave Small’s usually pleasing fey 
qualities are exhibited to the full in the Spectre GCR 
handbook. Perhaps this is just the mindset one needs to 
make a sow’s ear into a Macintosh. However, one 
shouldn’t need to wade through it when trying to get a 
piece of computer apparatus to work. Maybe computer 
manuals are dull, but there is no reason to read them as 
novels. Just the Facts, Ma’am, and they’d better be 
easy to find the next time one needs them. 

If one overlooks these distractions there is a lot of 
useful information in there and the index is generally 
effective. 

The real reason for installing a Spectre GCR is not 
to pay Dave and Sandy’s mortgage, but to gain entry to 
the world of Mac software. The Spectre GCR opens up 
that portion of it that runs on a Mac512 or a Mac Plus. 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 19 



There is a great deal of very satisfying material out there 
in spite of the fact that there are really not all that many 
more Macs on the loose than there are Atari ST’s. The 
ones that are out there, however, appear to be in the 
hands of people who are willing to spend some money 
for software. 

Mac software is expensive, but most of it is better 
written and better maintained than the equivalent soft¬ 
ware for the ST. There are graphics and data acquisition 
applications that we are unlikely to ever see on the ST. 
The coherence of the clipboard concept as it applies to 
moving data from one application to another is a true 
marvel. When a Mac owner buys his machine, he is also 
spending quite a few bucks that permit Apple to provide 
support to developers and educational discounts to get 
the machines onto university campuses. 

The Pussycat really hasn’t had a chance to make 
choices on “must-have” software for the Mac, but 
Microsoft Word, Mathtype, and a presentation graphics 
program like Cricket Graph or igor&xQ likely to be early 
choices. A good program editor along the lines of 
OUED is also a must. A nice CAD package would be 
good, but one would have to be absolutely certain that 
a product like Claris CAD really does offer the func¬ 
tionality that people want but can’t get on the ST. The 
bill for all of this can add up in a hurry. 

Programming for the Mac is perhaps even more 
complicated than for the ST but Apple is said to have 
been generous in its support for some development 
projects and many of the big software houses offer both 
Mac and IBM versions of their packages. For those who 
are willing to pay the price, there is outstanding 
documentation available in the inside Macintosh 
volumes. The Apple Program Developers’ Association 
also seems to be a lively concern. 

They market an exceptionally neat application 
development tool named Prototyper that allows the 
programmer to build dialog boxes, menus, windows, 
and all of the other paraphernalia of object-oriented 
programming and then to specify how these are to be 
linked together to make an application. The graphic part 
of the prototype application can then be run. Once the 
programmer is satisfied as to the correctness of this 
part of the program he can then ask Prototyper \o write 
out the source code that invokes the resulting resources 
in one of several dialects of C or Pascal. The source 
code contains comment lines that tell the programmer 
where to insert the code that he needs to handle 
whatever data processing is desired. The various Atari 
Resource Construction Sets cannot hold a candle to 
this. 

In many ways, however, the Macintosh world has a 
flavor that can best be described as “kinky.” The fact 
that each Mac file is really two files takes a good deal of 
getting used to. There is a “resource fork” that contains 
information about the file and a “data fork” that contains 
the file data itself. The fact that resource forks of 


applications are continually being rewritten is surely one 
of the factors that allows Mac viruses to spread so 
easily. This characteristic of the files is very important 
when the files have to reside on a non-Mac system 
such as GEnie. Fortunately, there is a utility called 
Stuffit, similar to ARC in the ST world, which takes care 
of this problem. 

Another kinky feature is a rabid insistence on using 
the mouse even when it is not appropriate. This is a real 
annoyance in MacDraw and MacDraft where exact 
numeric values are important for drafting. Keyboard 
entry of the data should be an option in such applica¬ 
tions. 

Mac programs also seem bound and determined to 
prevent the user from making any use of his data other 
than the one the designers had in mind. For example, 
there seems to be no convenient way to get a copy of a 
disk directory as an ASCII text file. 

The thing that is so kinky that it is nearly a complete 
turn-off is the missionary attitude of the people who 
write books on the Mac. The Macintosh Bible, which 
Dave suggests as a useful reference work, is replete 
with statements like “why should the rest of us .... who 
wouldn’t get within 50 yards of a PC unless it was 
downwind and hidden behind a bush ....” These are the 
same zealots who have foisted Pascal onto a gener¬ 
ation of computer science students. Such bigotry is 
counterproductive in the long run because it allows the 
competition to catch the bigot napping. 

Once one gets past these annoyances, however, 
the essential coherence of the entire structure is truly 
impressive. Printer drivers and fonts are basically 
universal rather than being specific to each application. 
The use of Postscript as a standard for displaying 
graphic and text information makes for enormous 
graphic power and adaptability. Apple has set rigorous 
standards in these matters and developers violate them 
at their peril. Most programs have a very professional 
look and a smooth feel, people do not seem to be 
compelled to invent the wheel over and over again. This 
sameness and smoothness makes Mac applications 
highly intuitive for the user. All of this costs money. 

If an Atari user simply wanted to get a feel for Mac 
software, a few short sessions at a friend’s Mac would 
suffice. Atarians take the Spectre route because they 
want performance that they cannot find in their own 
world. The areas where this is most apparent are in 
desktop publishing and possibly CAD. People who use 
Mac emulation regularly usually limit themselves to a 
couple of applications that they like better than the ones 
on the Atari. Everyone has their own favorites in this 
area and I have not yet done enough exploring to make 
up my mind. 

How well does the Spectre do Mac emulation? It 
seems pretty good for the few pieces of software that 
the Pussycat has tried. The small annoyances like 
special keystroke combinations are not hard to live with 


Page 20 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 



and the screen redraw speed is about what you would 
expect from a Mac Plus (which is considerably slower 
than a Mac NX). Certain very useful items like Apple File 
Exchange do not work. With the aforementioned pre¬ 
cautions regarding shielding, the disk drives seem to 
work pretty well. On the whole, the Spectre GCR seems 
to be a useful tool for learning about the Mac in the 
office, but it may be quite a while before it becomes 
part of the personal toolkit (inertia and money, you 
know). The fact that Spectre is totally non-invasive 
because it simply plugs into the cartridge port is very 
attractive. As ST add-ons go, the Spectre GCR is not 
terribly expensive. One can get into business for 
roughly the cost of a hard disk drive mechanism; other 
peripherals all work provided that a suitable printer 
driver is on hand. 

The dark side of this business is that the Mac world 
seems to be moving away from the 68000 to more 
powerful processors. These systems (Mac Il’s, IIX’s, 
IICX’s,, etc...) seem to be trying to expand upward into 
the engineering or DTP workstation niche to do battle 


with UNIX-based Suns, Apollo’s, Iris’s and the rest on 
their way down the price scale. Where is this going to 
leave the personal user? Will the Mac Plus and its 
siblings become orphans in the process? How will Dave 
Small and his allies handle these challenges? Stay 
tuned. 

A Current Notes colleague pointed out that the Atari 
ST is, in some ways, more fun than the Mac. You can 
get color in your games or applications without going to 
a great deal of expense and you do have the choice of 
operating in TOS or TTP mode for ease of programming 
applications that do not need the mouse. File structures 
are simpler because there is no need for a separate 
resource fork, thus affording at least a modest degree 
of portability to the MS-DOS world. It is actually easier 
to customize an ST into a special-purpose computing 
engine and it is easier to reconfigure after you have 
started. 

As a result of this, Atari users can get the best of 
two worlds: “power without the price’’ from Atari and 
“power at a price” from Apple. Thanks again, Dave. 


WAACE AtariFest ‘90 
by John Barnes 

The AtariFest planning team of the Washington Area Atari Computer Enthusiasts is busy working to 
make the 1990 event the best ever. The dates and site for 1990 have been set: 6 and 7 October at the Sheraton 
Reston in Reston, Va. This modern, attractive conference facility offers plenty of nicely arranged space for 
exhibits, demonstrations, seminars, and hospitality. 

Pricing for vendor space is being determined, and arrangements for setup are being made with a 
professional exhibit firm. 

Conducting the show in a hotel will allow longer show hours on the two days and increased 
opportunities for demonstrations and seminars. Exhibitors and out of town visitors will find the in-hotel 
location far more comfortable and convenient. 

The decision to use commercial space was partly determined by the end of our partnership with Fairfax 
County Public Schools Office of Adult and Community Education and partly by our own desire to afford 
vendors and visitors a better show. 

Potential exhibitors should expect to receive information packets during February. We will need 
financial commitments from participants soon thereafter in order to conduct a suitable promotional 
campaign. 

This change of approach will bring the cost of the WAACE show more into line with similar Atari shows. 
In order to keep costs within reason we will need strong support from the entire Atari community. 

We are making this announcement at such an early date in order to give everyone a chance to organize 
their schedules. We hope that all of you will help us to make this event an enjoyable experience for all East 
Coast Atarians. 

Further information on this subject can be obtained by contacting the WAACE Chairman, Mr. John D. 
Barnes, at 301-652-0667 or by GEMail to J.D.BARNES or R.BROWN3. Watch for new contact names in mid 
January. 




January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 21 








Share the Fantasy 

SYRA: Hi, my name is Syra, I’m 
23 years old and I have blonde hair. 

I like movies, horseback riding, 
gourmet cooking, and my favorite 
CRPG is Dungeonmaster. 

GEOFFREY: Hi, I’m Geoff. I’m 
24,1 like concerts, fast food, impor¬ 
ted beer, football, and hanging out. 
Oh yeah, I’m really into Lord British, 
too. 

ROSELLA: Ah, some fresh 
voices! Do either of you know 
what’s going on with Hero’s Quest? 
The Sierra Creative Interpreter 
should’ve churned it out by now. 
They did a nice job on the IBM 
version, even Scorpia liked it. Com¬ 
bat looks a little like that in-the- 
visor perspective from /ron Lord. 

REIS: And when’s Origin releas¬ 
ing Windwaiker? It’s out for the 
Amiga. 

JAANA: Yeah, and what about 
Poo! of Radiance from SSI? The 
Mac version’s already out, of all 
things. 

BORIS: Hey Syra, have you fin¬ 
ished Chaos Strikes Back yet? I just 
finished it, and guess what? I did it 
without mapping! 

SYRA: Yes, I finished it, too, 
though I don’t think many people 
have. When I first heard there would 
be a Dungeonmaster module, I said 
great. When I heard it wouldn’t have 
any new monsters or objects, I said 
not so great. Which was echoed by 
the playtesters, so FTL went back to 
work and added thirteen new mons¬ 
ters. I was back to great. But having 
finished it, I can’t say Chaos is a 
great game; it’s to Dungeonmaster 
what Phantasie //was to Phantasie l 


DIAL 

976-CRPG 

CALL NCW.... IT’S LIVE! 


BORIS: I understand your point, it’s 
more of the same thing, but if that 
thing is Dungeonmaster, I’ll take 
more of the same anytime! Besides, 
the increased intensity of combat in 
Chaos was different. In DM, you 
fought one dragon; in Chaos, you 
gotta take out a whole nest of ’em. 
It wasn’t as long a game, but it was 
tough, tough, tough! Some puzzles 
were nearly impossible, and the 
monsters come at you in leagues 
from the moment you start. 

Love at 2400 Baud 

ALEX: Hi, Syra, I’m Alex. You 
sure have a sexy voice. I haven’t 
even bought Chaos yet, can you 
start from the beginning? 

SYRA: Sure, Alex. Haven’t I 
heard you somewhere before? 
Anyway, the game is stand-alone, 
you don’t have to own Dungeon¬ 
master to play it. But there are no 
DM docs in the Chaos package, so 
the few who haven’t haven’t played 
the original are pretty much out of 
luck. The game and graphics sys¬ 
tems for Chaos Strikes Back are 
exactly like Dungeonmaster, and if I 
have to describe that to you, you’re 
on the wrong phone line. It comes 
with a game disk and a utility disk, 
and lists for $39.95. The utility disk 
has a short graphic sequence of the 
events leading to Chaos’s revenge, 
a simple paint program to edit your 
champions’ portraits, an aid for 
stuck gamers called the Hint Oracle, 
and most importantly, the utility 
called Make New Adventure. You 
may use any champions from DM, 
but they should be fairly advanced 
characters. There is a prison in 
Chaos, analogous to the Hall of 
Champions, with all new multi¬ 


adepts curiously over-represented 
by the animal kingdom. The portraits 
of Chaos champions old and new 
are much better than in DM, and 
you will have to be quite an artist to 
improve them with the editor. Once 
a saved game disk has been made 
into a new adventure, it’s on to the 
show. You enter the dungeon 
stripped clean, so cast a FUL spell 
and get ready to stick and move. I’m 
going to the fridge for a diet coke, 
can you take it from here, Boris? 

BORIS: Sure. Let’s back up and 
talk about the Hint Oracle. Some 
people have criticized it, saying that 
it gives the game away. I think it was 
implemented perfectly. In order to 
use it, you must save the game at 
the exact location that has you 
stumped, exit the game, boot the 
utility disk to access the Hint Oracle, 
obtain the needed information, then 
load Chaos again to continue play¬ 
ing. Chaos, like DM, is compressed 
and takes forever and a day to load, 
so who’s going to go through all 
that unless they are really stuck? Of 
course, if you own two machines 
you could sort of, er, multitask, so to 
speak. Anyway, there are four 
mazes for the four classes: KU 
(Fighter), ROS (Ninja), NETA 
(Priest), and DAIN (Wizard). At the 
end of each maze you’ve got to get 
this supramorphic piece of rock 
called corbum ore and...well, I’m not 
going to be accused of giving the 
game away. 

SYRA: Hey, the caffeine queen’s 
back, coke in hand. I caught the last 
part of what you said, Boris. We 
should try to explain about the 
dungeon layout: it’s very unortho¬ 
dox, and full of deviousness deluxe. 
Those four mazes begin on one 
square and eventually meet in the 


Page 22 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 



middle of the dungeon. There are 
four levels with lots of pits and 
stairways, and one pitted area I defy 
anybody not to map, Boris’s orien¬ 
tating proficiency notwithstanding. 
Also, the program apparently con¬ 
structs a different dungeon for each 
player based on her previous 
moves. I’m really fuzzy on the 
details of this feature. I can’t tell if 
there are infinite possibilities or not, 
and if not, how many variations 
there are. Understanding exactly 
what the dungeon interpreter does 
and how it does it is going to be as 
intriguing a puzzle to solve as the 
game itself. Downloading maps 
might be a waste of time, but I just 
can’t tell yet. 

BORIS: I haven’t gone through a 
second time yet, but I have a feeling 
you can do it pretty quickly. The 
monsters aren’t really that tough, it’s 
just that there are so many of them. 
Running’s a good strategy some¬ 
times. Anyway, that’s part of the 
idea behind the dungeon creation 
feature: so that playing Chaos a 
second time gives you a new layout. 
I don’t think it’s going to give the 
game incredible replayability, 
though. Oh, about the monsters: 
there are some great new ones, like 
the Mouths, and most of your old 
nemeses from the original game 
have returned. The old gang have 
spawned a few mutations: there are 
new knights and new worms, to 
name two. The ending is somewhat 
anti-climactic, but isn’t that a CRPG 
tradition? Name me two fantasy 
games that end with a bang. 
Anyway, if Dungeonmaster is a 10, 
then Chaos Strikes Back is at least 
an 8, in my opinion. 

Vapors of Radiance 

FLINT: Well met, all. Name’s 
Flint. I’m 135 years old, five foot two 
with a long, braided beard, and I still 
prefer the term dwarf, despite the 
movement towards little people. I’m 
into precious metals, spelunking, 
and human-throwing contests. 
‘Fraid I’ve some bad news about 
Poo! of Radiance... 


JAANA: It’s about time some¬ 
body answered my question. 

FLINT: Seems it’s in limbo. I 
don’t really understand the UBI Soft/ 
U.S. Gold/SSI web of relations, but 
Poo/ has become entangled to the 
point it may never get released. 

JAANA: Oh, great. Guess I won’t 
be transferring Poo/ characters into 
Hillsfartox Azure Bonds. 

FLINT: Also, the British scribes 
have mentioned an ST version of 
the excellent medieval strategy 
game Sword of Aragon, but Linda 
Blanchard of SSI knows of no plans 
for an Atari port. On a more uplifting 
note, I’ve been playing Dragons of 
Flame, SSI’s sequel to the Dragon- 
lance action game Heroes of the 
Lance. I’ll have to get back with you 
next session on whether it corrects 
the first installment’s weak points. 

Ultima V Calling! 

M’LORD TREBOR: Good evening, 
everyone. Many of you know of me; 

I am called Trebor. Today, January 
the 6th, I have had the pleasure of 
listening to “Fanfare for the Virtu¬ 
ous” and fourteen other pieces by 
Ken Arnold through my Tweety 
Board-equipped ST. 

GEOFF: (Gasp!) U/tima V is out 
for the ST!? 

TREBOR: Yes, Warriors of Des¬ 
tiny is at last ready for the ST. The 
good procurers of Origin have 
favored me with an advance copy, 
but it could be available to all within 
the month. This is even greater pro¬ 
vidence than it seems; because of 
Origin’s split with British MicroProse, 
the Amiga version, it is said, may 
never come to pass. The UK firm 
was scheduled to do both the ST 
and Amiga conversions; I’m grateful 
they started with the Atari port first. 

GEOFF: So what’s it like? 

TREBOR: Like the EGA version, 
graphically, which is a considerable 
improvement over Ultima IV. I’ve 
only just begun the quest, but I can 
tell you that the combat system has 
very much come into its own. The 
leap in overall sophistication that we 
saw from III to IV is not as great as 


in V, but the fine touches Warriors of 
Destiny has received are impressive, 
indeed. It comes on three single¬ 
sided disks and draws you into the 
story compellingly. I should have all 
of the details for you in about a 
month. Curiously, I had to adjust the 
vertical and horizontal on my Hita¬ 
chi-made SCI224 monitor to eli¬ 
minate rolling and align the screen, 
which didn’t entirely solve the align¬ 
ment problem. But I’ve mentioned 
this to Origin. The original and 
legendary SCI224 monitors have no 
problems with the program. 

ROSELLA: How are you, Trebor? 
My father will be delighted to know 
we talked. I’ve been trying to find 
out when Hero’s Questri\W be avail¬ 
able. Have you news? 

TREBOR: Your father and I go 
back many years, child. Yes, I have 
the news you seek. Hero’s Quest 
could be available for the ST in 
February. B/oodwych denizens can 
purchase a data disk with twenty- 
five new levels to explore. Wind- 
walker xwsy be a few months away. I 
was asked to mention that in Current 
Notes’ recent Best of the Quest II 
feature, a quotation regarding 
B/oodwych was inadvertently attri¬ 
buted to Robert Millard. Those com¬ 
ments were actually the opinions of 
BQ2 panelist Al Giovetti. And, if 
anyone has inquired, FTL is going to 
try to do something about the docu¬ 
mentation problem for Chaos Strikes 
Back owners have who haven’t 
played the original game. 

REIS: Thanks, Trebor. I’ve been 
asking about Windwa/ker. And earlier 
tonight, somebody had mentioned 
the doc problem for CSB rookies. 

The Same Old Lines 

ALEX: Say, Syra, are you still on 
the line? 

SYRA: Still here, Alex. 

ALEX: Speaking of B/oodwych, I 
have the new data disk. How about 
if I bring it over to your place for a 
little two-player action? 

SYRA: I thought you’d never ask. 

TREBOR: Ah, youth! 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 23 




rne 

MAASWAU 

AAnsr 


// have the paint program Spectrum 
512, you can enjoy a disk of co/orfui c/ip art to 
make creating works of art quick and easy All 
courtesy of the Marsha! Artist. 


by Steve Marshall 

A couple of years ago I began 
developing a series of high resolu¬ 
tion clip art disks for use in desktop 
publishing. These art disks were 
successful and a lot of fun to do so I 
thought I’d try to develop a series of 
color clip art disks using DEGAS 
Elite, at that time the premier paint 
program for the ST. The main prob¬ 
lem I encountered was the palette. 
Either I had to decide on a single 
palette and use that same palette in 
developing all of my clip art images 
(which became impossibly restric¬ 
tive) or I had to rely on the user to 
change the colors as they added 
images (which was terribly cumber¬ 
some). 

And Then Came Spectrum 

The problem became so frus¬ 
trating that I shelved the idea. Then I 
heard about Spectrum 512, a new 
paint program that allowed all 512 
colors to be displayed simultane¬ 
ously. More importantly, it allowed 
images to be imported and ren¬ 
dered accurately regardless of the 
original palette. This appeared to be 
the answer to my problem and I 
quickly placed my order. A few 
weeks later I had my copy and 
began experimenting with this 
sophisticated program. It was all I 
had hoped for and I found myself 
spending every available minute 
trying out functions and experi¬ 
menting with the many special 
effects. 

Other people also purchased 
Spectrum 512 and I began to find 
that for many of them, Spectrum 


was just too complicated and diffi¬ 
cult to use. Too often, Spectrum 
was being used solely to view the 
many public domain digitized pic¬ 
tures or to touch-up photos cap¬ 
tured with Computereyes. No one 
seemed to be using it as the 
creative tool it was designed to be. 
My mind went back to my idea of 
color clip art and I began to wonder 
if such a collection might 
encourage people to rediscover the 
wonderful qualities of Spectrum. 

So I collected up the few im¬ 
ages I had saved of my previous 
efforts and began to build a new 
collection of clip art. I wanted to 
provide a variety of images that the 
average person might enjoy using 
to build pictures. A lot of people 
can create simple scenes but stum¬ 
ble when it comes to drawing rea¬ 
listic objects or animals to place in 
their scenes so I decided to create 
a collection of images under a 
variety of subjects like animals, 


buildings, trees, vehicles, etc. Some 
of these images I created from 
scratch, drawing them in DEGAS 
and importing them into Spectrum 
or creating them directly in Spec¬ 
trum and making use of powerful 
functions of Spectrum. Other im¬ 
ages I digitized and then touched 
up within Spectrum. Several months 
later I had the first disk finished and 
ready to market. 

Unfortunately, the interest in 
such a color clip art disk was not as 
great as I hoped (at least from a 
marketing point of view) and I 
decided not to invest any more time 
or money in the effort. The disk I 
had spent months preparing 
languished in my desk for nearly a 
year. Then, this summer, I attended 
a local user group meeting and 
watched someone demonstrating 
Spectrum. The thought of my color 
clip art disk came back to me. I 
mentioned it to the demonstrator 
and he was intrigued with the idea. 



Page 24 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 







And I decided that the results of my 
hard work should not lie in a desk 
drawer. So I contributed the disk to 
the club’s public domain library. 
And I have made the same offer to 
Current Notes (CN #410). 

Using Color Clip Art 

Using my color clip art disk (I 
never came up with a clever name 
for the disk) is very easy. Of course, 
you do need Spectrum 512 \x\ order 
to make use of the clip art. Once 
you have loaded in Spectrum, 
decide which images on the disk 
you want to use. Load in each file, 
grab the images you want and 
move them into the buffer using 
Spectrum’s block function (PIC- 
>BUF). On a 520ST you should be 
able to hold about 2 full screens 
worth of images. On a 1040ST, you 
should be able to fit almost all of 
them. 


Once you have loaded in all of 
the clip art into the buffer, you can 
start creating your masterpiece. 
Begin with the background, either 
creating a sky and ground, or use 
the supplied sky and mountain clip 
art images to form the basis of your 
background. Adding images from 
the buffer is simple. Just select the 
BLOCK function, then go to the 
buffer by selecting BUF->PIC. This 
will display the clip buffer and you 
can scroll through the images by 
right-clicking and dragging the 
mouse up or down. When you find 
an image you want to add to your 
picture, left click and drag a box 
around it. When you return to your 
picture, the clip art image will 
appear as a green rectangle. Hold 
down the SHIFT key while you 
move the mouse to size it, then 
press the left mouse button to place 
it on the screen. (Refer to your 
Spectrum manual for more details.) 


You might want to 
begin adding trees 
and buildings. 

Remember to work 
from the back of your 
picture to the front. 

Keep the rules of 
perspective in mind, 
sizing images smaller 
if they are to appear 
in the distance and 
keeping them large if 
they appear in the 
foreground. Use the 
magnify mode for 
touch-up work once 
your images have 
been placed on the 
screen. 

Have Fun With Spectrum 

It’s very satisfying to see the 
results of my efforts finally being put 
to use. I hope those of you who 
have Spectrum will 
try out the color clip 
art disk and maybe 
even create a disk 
of your own for 
others to share. It’s 
a great way to have 
fun with Spectrum 
and create works of art without 
investing a lot of time in drawing 
detailed objects. 


Time To Say Goodbye 

Finally, I have to say that this is 
my last column for Current Notes. 
The demands of work and school, 
coupled with time spent working on 
my new game, leave me too little 
time to devote to writing this col¬ 
umn. I have enjoyed the past year 
and am indebted to Joe Waters for 
the opportunity to stretch my wings 
a little and express myself in words 
to a national audience. In the words 
of those two wine salesmen, thank 
you for your support. 



Example of picture created utilizing SPECTRUM dip art 



January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 25 





























































































: vv*. M 



Jinxter 


Right. Yurss. Well, now. This wossname, game, 
called Jinxter (Atari ST, $39.95) has me baffled. Com¬ 
pletely. Defnly. I solved it, good enough, if solvin’ it’s 
considered turnin’ up dead, selflessly savin’ the life of a 
dog in the process (which reminds me, the bakery’s 
’avin’ a sale on cheese san’wiches)—a dog I’ve not 
even ‘ad the pleasure of meetin’. 

Er, excuse me. This game does grow on you after 
awhile, narmean? 

Ahem. 

Once upon a time, the late magician Turani be¬ 
stowed upon the people of Aquitania an enchanted 
bracelet, granting good luck to everyone while keeping 
the evil forces of Aquitania’s Green Witches at bay. 
Recently, Jannedor and her fellow Green Witches have 
conspired to overthrow the powers of the bracelet. By 
bribing mortals into concealing all of the bracelet’s 
charms, the bracelet is as good as processed cheese. 

You’ve been the mortal selected by the Department 
of Guardians to find the charms, find the bracelet, 
restore the bracelet’s power, and use that power against 
the witches. “Piece of cake,” your personal guardian 
says. “Should be finished by teatime.” 

Like the other Magnetic Scrolls adventure games 
{The Pawn, Guild of Thieves, and Corruption) published 
by Rainbird, Jinxter is highly entertaining, with game- 
play, descriptions, parser, and humor (Monty Python- 
esque) rivaling Infocom’s best. To break the monotony 
of an all-text adventure, Magnetic Scrolls again pre¬ 
sents us with the usual breathtaking pictures of scenery 
we’ve come to expect. I only wish there were a scene 
for every location. 

The game is loaded into memory except for the 
occasional disk accesses to load each picture. Graphics 
can be turned off for faster gameplay. 

Jinxter is doubly copy-protected: by disk and by 
requiring you to enter a certain word on a certain page 
in a certain column on a certain line in the documen¬ 
tation. The latter was not much of a hassle, considering 
it only popped up once each time I played the game, 
but I’m always nervous about using the original disk. 


Jinxter’s parser accepts complete and multiple sen¬ 
tences, but it’s very picky about how you word things. 
Remember that there is a difference between putting 
something in something and putting something on 
something. 

Keep and maintain your really amazing luck. With so 
many Aquitanians down on theirs, you need to lead the 
way. Whenever you don’t feel as lucky as you once did, 
replay that incident another way. Believe me, it’ll pay off 
on one of your confrontations with Jannedor. 

Indeed, there are different ways to solving things. 
While being correct and enabling you to continue with 
the game, they may decrease your luck or not increase 
your point value. Save the game often, because you’ll 
constantly be returning to those situations and others. 
(You may realize, for example, you’re missing some¬ 
thing that might’ve been located at the very beginning 
of the game. 

Instead of restarting entirely, you can at least pick it 
up from a few hundred moves into the game.) In 
addition, many times you’ll do something you wish you 
could take back. A simple saved game before any 
significant move will prevent lots of aggravation and 
tedium. Saved games take up one filename of around 
11K of space. 

Point value, for adventure purists, is extremely im¬ 
portant. Time was you could use your score to deter¬ 
mine whether you had done something correctly. In 
Jinxter, you may do something thinking it deserves five 
or ten points, only to receive nothing. In this case, think 
of another, better way to do what you just did. 

I finished the game with 175 points, 30 points off. 
Thirty points is such a large percentage that I’m not 
quite sure if I truly did finish. If you can do better or 
know how to obtain the extra, miscellaneous points, 
please let me know. I’ll update the clues in a future 
column. 


CHARACTERS 

Baker: Do you really want to work for him? 

Bull: Ole, as the toreador would say. But actions 
speak louder than words. 

Clockmaker: If his attention were distracted, he 
wouldn’t have caught it in time. 

Cloud: Even clouds with silver linings can ice up. 

Jannedor: The clause of the staff memo stated the 
bracelet was to get rid of her. 

Mad gardener: He can hear that door opening a mile 
away! 

Magpie: Sing a song of what? You should listen 
more closely. 

Mouse: At least you don’t have to keep it from 
squeaking. 

Postmistress: She’s jumps at the littlest things 
because she can’t hear well. 

Ticket inspector (bus): Follow the rules, or else you’ll 
be headed sixteen paces due east. 


Page 26 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 




Unicorn: An element from its days of yore might put 
it back to the way it once was. 

Worms: The fastest-eating worms alive! 

Xam: Wake up, he’s been captured. 

LOCATIONS 

Even with descriptions on verbose, all objects aren’t 
necessarily in full view when first entering a room. Be 
sure to not only examine everything that is listed in the 
room description, but look inside it, look under it, and 
look behind it. 

My copy of Jinxter (version 1.05) displayed an 
endless loop of “and”s when trying to go south in the 
pub, an invalid direction. 

Doing so may hold your suspense for the first fifteen 
minutes, but soon your eyes’ll get blurry, “and” you’ll 
end up resetting your computer. Occasionally the pub’s 
southern direction would also give me about half a 
screen of secret code, but attempting to decipher any 
of it will give you a headache. Curiously enough, the 
southern wall of the pub is the bar. 

Airlock: Pay attention to the buttons. You don’t want 
to flood the place, do you? 

Bakery: Aquitania has a high employment rate. 

Beer Garden: Well, well, well, what do we have 
here? 

Boathouse: The sliding door seems a bit rusty. 

Carousel: They all look so real! 

Dungeon: The dumbwaiter can hold more than food. 

Marble Steps: Afterwards, a simple moving is all 
that’s needed. 

Pub: How do you spell walrus? 

Sanctum Sanctorum: Jannedor’s always in her room 
unless her attention can be diverted (by another person, 
perhaps?). 

Underwater: You’d be out of luck if you got lost on 
your way back. 

OBJECTS 

Beer: That Old Moosebolter is some strong, 
extinguishing stuff! 

Bottle, milk: Never cry over spilt milk, especially 
when you can replace it with something else. 

Bottle, plastic oil: Have you tried squeezing it? 

Bread: Great! He’ll hire you and you’ll work there for 
the rest. 

Of your. Life. Starting tomorrow, of course. 

Bung: Yes, probably the most obvious choice. Now 
to make it bigger. 

Candle: Think of it as an eternal flame. And speaking 
of bangles stop dillydallying and find that bracelet! 

Chandelier: Too bad you don’t have any of Willy 
Wonka’s burping soda to float you up there. 

Charm, amethyst: Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how 
does your... 

Charm, dragon: It’s NOT one, two, three strikes 
you’re... 


Charm, moose: Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit 
out of a... 

Charm, pelican: Patty cake, Patty cake... 

Charm, unicorn: Lights, camera... 

Charm, walrus: When Santa Claus gets your... 

Crystal ball: Look into the ball and what do you see? 
Scenes of the future and all of them free. But which is 
the correct one? Which should be the correct one? Ask 
the pelican. He’ll know what needs to be done. 

Dome: Sliding numbers in a magic square passes 
the time quickly. 

Door, sliding: Remember the joke about how to stop 
a mouse from squeaking? 

Fireplace (hall): Ash in. 

Fireplace (pub): Ash out. 

Flour: Let’s sieve what we can do. 

Hat: I don’t know about you, but I think it makes a 
great holder. Also, it can dull light from ten different 
perspectives. 

Hole (canoe): Mighty big hole, there. Let’s hope he 
wanted to be buried (or rather, half-buried) at sea. 

Key, iron: Yours. 

Key, plastic: U.S.P.S.’s. 

Key, rusty: Xam’s. 

Ladder: Almost! You just need a little boost. 

Mailbox (Xam’s): The key is to make something 
similar. You’d probably get burned in real life, but 
anything’s possible in an adventure game. 

Manacles: Don’t get too tied up with the mechanics 
of things. 

Mousetrap: A watched mousetrap never snaps. 

Oil: How to get the oil out is harder than figuring out 
how to prevent milk from curdling. 

Oil lamp: Pitch a wild one! 

Saddle: Clouds don’t like riders on the storm. Hide it. 

Safe: Hurry up or you’ll run out of time. It began at 1 
a.m. and went to 5 p.m., then switched back and forth 
between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.? It’s too late! Ho! Larceny! 
Cry havoc! (As the wiry old bimbo once yelped.) 

Sock, woollen: Stretches to keep things warm and 
soundproof, that’s for shore. 

Spectacles: You use sunglasses to see better in the 
sunlight. Spectacles aren’t sunglasses. 

Ticket (train): At those prices, you could get a couple 
of beers! 

Umbrella: If Mary Poppins can, why not you? 

Weather clock: Looks like a spell of rain is in the 
forecast. 

Questions, comments, criticisms? I can be reached 
care of Current Notes or at P.O. Box 1853, North 
Springfield, Virginia 22151 (please enclose a self- 
addressed, stamped envelope for replies). If you have a 
modem, I can be contacted on Merlin’s Litterbox at 
(703) 250-7303 (3/12/24/9600 HST bauds), located in 
Fairfax, Virginia and PC-Pursuitable through the Wash¬ 
ington, D.C. area. 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 27 



STARTING 

BLOCK 

by Richard Gunter 


For the ARC 
of It... 


Happy New Year, everybody! 

During the last several weeks, I 
noticed a number of questions on 
local Bulletin Boards from users who 
were having trouble with ARC 
programs and files. 

“Aha, inspiration!” said I, 
forgetting that Mr. Murphy and his 
colleagues watch me closely. As 
soon as I thought of doing a 
column, every programmer on both 
sides of the Atlantic released at 
least one new version of his favorite 
archiving tool. 

Figures. 

Now I’m starting to get 
confused, what with ARC, ZIP, LZH, 
ZOO programs proliferating like 
monkeys in a (ahem) zoo. In the 
next column or three, we’ll see if we 
can bring some order out of this: 
learn what file archivers are, what’s 
available, and maybe even learn to 
use the things. 

Archivers? 

The first thing we need to 
understand is what an archiver is. In 
a nutshell, it allows you to combine 
a bunch of files into a single file. A 
fairly simple idea, right? 

Whole Disk “Archivers” 

There are two ST programs I 
know about that will convert a 
floppy disk into a file: CodeCopy, a 
commercial product from 
CodeHead, and Magic Shadow 
Archiver, a shareware program by 
Steve Feinstein. 

These programs construct a file 
whose contents is an image of an 
entire floppy disk, including boot 
sector data. They also remember 
disk format information, and thus 
can reproduce the original disk. 

In general, this type of program 
allows you to retrieve individual data 


files only by recreating the entire 
original floppy, then copying the 
files you want. 

These should be considered 
special-purpose programs, useful if 
you have self-booting disks (like 
demos) that you don’t use often and 
would like to store away in 
somewhat less space. They’re also 
of use to commercial distributors 
and club librarians who need to 
make many copies. 

It’s the file-oriented archivers 
that we’re really interested in. 

File Archivers 

File archivers allow you to 
combine one or more files into a 
single file. File archivers usually use 
highly sophisticated data 
compression algorithms to conserve 
space, and they maintain a 
“directory” as part of each archive 
file, which permits considerable 
freedom in managing the archive 
and its contents. 

Note the distinction between the 
two types of programs. The “whole 
disk archiver” operates on an entire 
floppy disk, while the file archiver 
operates on individual files. In 
addition, most file archivers have a 
rich set of options, allowing files to 
be added, deleted, or extracted. 

It’s important to note that an 
archive file may contain several files, 
but they are compressed, and not\x\ 
a form that you can use directly. The 
data files need to be extracted by a 
compatible archiver program; this 
restores them to their original form. 

Why Archive? 

One reason is evident on every 
electronic bulletin board system 
(BBS) in the country: several files 
can be combined into one archive 
and transmitted by modem to 


another computer. Download a 
single archive file, and you have a 
complete package. 

Moreover, since the file 
archivers compress their contents, 
download time is less than it would 
have been for downloading all the 
parts separately. Saves time and 
money. 

A file archiver can be useful for 
personal or professional work as 
well, because it allows you to 
consolidate related files for 
permanent storage. 

These columns, for instance, 
consist of word processing 
document files containing the text, 
screen snapshots or other 
illustrations, and output files from a 
desktop publisher. I like to save all 
this stuff in case it’s ever needed 
again, so I archive the files on a 
floppy disk—reducing the clutter on 
my hard drive. 

Different Systems 

The format’s the thing that 
distinguishes different archiving 
systems. Format of the archive files, 
that is. 

The developers of each system 
designed a general format for their 
archive files, nailing down what the 
internal directory looks like, details 
of each data compression algorithm 
used, the way compressed files are 
stored within the archive, and so on. 

We can usually recognize the 
system used to make a given 
archive file by looking at its file 
extension (the “EXT” part of 
NAME.EXT). 

ARC indicates the “ARC” 
system, originated by System 
Enhancement Associates, Inc. The 
ARC format is the eldest of the 
bunch, and still the most widely 
used. 


Page 28 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 




LZH indicates a system de¬ 
veloped by Haruyasu Yoshizaki for 
MS-DOS computers and ported to 
the ST by Jon Webb and Bart van 
Herk. 

ZIP indicates a system 
originated by Phil Katz in the MS- 
DOS community. ZIP’s popularity 
seems to be growing in the MS- 
DOS community. 

ZOO indicates a system de¬ 
veloped by Rahul Dhesi for the MS- 
DOS community, and ported to the 
ST by Daan Jitta. 

There are other systems in use 
elsewhere. I haven’t mentioned 
archiving systems used primarily in 
the Macintosh and Unix com¬ 
munities, for instance. 

Compatibility 

Unfortunately, different archiving 
systems are not mutually com¬ 
patible. In fact, they are absolutely, 
totally, 100% INCOMPATIBLE with 
each other. 

Try to feed an LZH file to a 
program made to deal with ARC 
format, and the best you can hope 
for is that it won’t work. You might 
crash your system with some 
combinations. 

Identification Aids 

The best identification aid is the 
file name extension, as noted 
above. If the file’s creator didn’t use 
the correct extension, you could 
have a problem. 

You can try different archiver 
programs on such a file, but watch 
out for a system crash. Another 
possibility is a program ,WHATIS, 
written by Bill Aycock, one of 
CompuServe’s Atari Sysops. This 
little widget will examine a file and 
report what sort of file it thinks you 
have. It can be fooled, though. 

Different Computers 

Since the heart of each 
archiving system is its file format, 
any number of archiver programs 
can be written to process or create 
a file in that format. Specifically, 
such programs can be written for 


different types of computers. Where 
this has been done, an archive file 
produced on an IBM machine can 
be processed on an ST. 

There is a little problem, though. 
If the original developer adds a new 
compression algorithm to his sys¬ 
tem, the new feature may not be 
quickly available for other com¬ 
puters. Archives created on an IBM 
machine with the new program can’t 
be processed on an ST until the ST 
program has been updated. 

In one case (ZIP format), only 
an extractor has been written for the 
ST, and it won’t deal with files 
created by the latest IBM version of 
ZIP. Thus you can UnZIP some (but 
not all) ZIP files, and you can’t 
create a ZIP file at all on the ST—at 
this writing, anyway. 

Which One’s for Me? 

The attached table provides a 
list of commonly used ST archiving 
systems and programs. You’ll 
probably want at least one program 
supporting the ARC format because 
of its wide use. A number of folks 
favor DCOPY because of its speed 
and menu-style command struc¬ 
ture; it tends to run faster than the 
ARC 5.21 family. DCOPY is also a 
general-purpose file utility. 


ARC 6.02 (just out) claims full 
compatibility with the IBM version. It 
supports automatic processing for 
folders and their contents, and also 
speed improvements over the ARC 
5.21 programs. 

You’ll probably also want to get 
LHARC 0.51; the commercial time¬ 
sharing services are accepting 
uploads in LZH format, and they’re 
showing up on BBSs as well. 

For personal use, take your 
pick. LZH often yields dramatic 
improvements over ARC in terms of 
storage space, but isn’t as fast as 
some of the ARC programs. 

As for ZOO, I dunno. It does 
offer some facilities for recovering 
corrupted files, and support for 
handling folders and subfolders. The 
system doesn’t seem to be in very 
wide use as yet, and the 
appearance of ARC 6.02 may 
hamper its acceptance. 

ATUNZ/P is a partial imple¬ 
mentation, supporting extraction 
only. You needn’t bother with it 
unless you need to UnZIP some 
files from the IBM community. Not 
much hope for the ZIP system until 
someone writes a full ZIP program 
for the ST. 

Next time we’ll take a close look 
at using ARC6.02. 


A Sampler of Archiving Systems 

Format Program Comments 

ARC 

ARC 5.21 

“Squash” support; not very fast 


ARC 5.21 B 

Faster, a few bugs 


ARC 5.21 C 

Some bugs fixed 


ARC 6.02 

Claims full compatibility with IBM; no “Squash” 
support. 


DCOPY 

Faster than ARC 5.21; partial “Squash” 


ARCIT 

Handles folders; probably not like ARC 6.02 

LZH 

LHARC 0.41 

Not speedy; has a few bugs 


LHARC 0.51 

Faster; some bugs fixed 

ZIP 

ATUNZIP 

Supports extraction only; partial MS-DOS 
compatibility 

ZOO 

ZOO 

Handles folders 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 29 





Small Is Beautiful 

Small utilities may make your life less miserable 


To avoid any misunderstandings: this is still the 
ST Too/box column, and I am not going to give away 
any T-shirts or buttons. This month’s title just reflects 
this month’s subjects. 

Hard Cold Cache v.3.5 

A disk cache is a small program running in the 
background, which can increase your disk reading 
speed significantly by reading into a memory buffer. 
Quite often a subsequent read operation may request 
data already in this buffer; if this is the case, the data 
will be fetched from the buffer (without accessing the 
disk), reducing the operation time and drive wear. All 
this is quite transparent to the reading program, which 
still “thinks” it is actually reading from the disk. 

Hard Co/d Cache, a shareware program by Robert 
E. Owens, is well-designed, well-behaved and easy to 
use, which makes it my cache of choice. 

Three programs come in the package. First, the 
actual cache program (just 2.5k), to be placed in your 
\AUTO\ folder and forgotten about. Second and third, 
the cache configuration program, coming in two flavors: 
as a stand-alone PRG file and as a desktop accessory. 

The dialog-driven configuration programs allow you 
to choose drives to be cached. The changes are 
effective immediately, 
but also can be saved 
as defaults for the next 
boot-up. You can also 
define the buffer size 
(64-128k is the usually 
recommended choice). 

These programs 
also know how to 
access the variables 
storing the per¬ 
formance statistics 
(maintained by the 
cache program itself). 

A nice touch, allowing 
you to see the percen¬ 
tage of hits (i.e. in¬ 
stances when a sector 
was fetched from the 
buffer instead of being 


read from the disk) and the total time savings. 

The time saved during disk-intensive sessions 
(such as program development) can be quite impres¬ 
sive. Using a 1-Mbyte machine, I can only afford to 
cache the hard drive partition with the programming 
tools and source code; my buffer size is 32k. Still, the 
disk access time saved during one working day spent 
on heavy programming is usually above 30 minutes! 

Another example, involving operations frequently 
accessing the disk directory: the Prospero make utility 
checks the consistency of my Pascal library in 179 
seconds; using Co/d Hard Cache this time was cut 
down to 57 seconds! 

With floppy-based systems, the speed gain 
becomes much more dramatic. There is, however, a 
catch here (with Atari, not the program author, to be 
blamed): check whether the floppy change in your 
cached drive is properly detected. Load a disk contain¬ 
ing some folders. Open and close some of them. You 
will see that, after accessing a given folder for the first 
time, the subsequent accesses are fast — your disk 
drive will not spin at all. This is good: you are getting a 
100% hit rate. Then, while a folder contents is being 
displayed in a desktop window, remove the current 
floppy and put in another one. Close the folder. If the 
window displays the contents of the new disk, 
you are in business, the floppy change is 
detected properly. If not, do not cache this 
drive! Strange things can happen to your data! 
(Other drives can still be cached safely). 

Hard Co/d Cache comes with a documen¬ 
tation file. It is small, cheap ($5 donation 
recommended) and useful. Get it. 

Hard Co/d Cache (shareware): Robert E Owens 
III, 34 Pinecrest Dr, Covington, LA 70433 


Double Click Utilities 

After having heard some good things about 
the first commercial offering of Double Click 
Software (the authors of the popular Double 
Click Formatter available in the public domain), 

I decided to give it a try. 

The disk comes with a small but complete 
and well-written manual (which, after the first 



Perfornance 


Overage access tine: 27 ns 
Approx, elapsed read tine: 5 sec 
Approx, tine savings: 5 sec 


533! TRIES HITS 
Reads: 393 206 
Mrite Optinizations: 8 


x 

52.4 


Settings 


9 I Cache Buffers: 80j_I I 


I Max. Multi-Sector Read Size: 41 


Save 


[2 si go (Data iii [a 


Cancel I [ Reset Stats 11 OK I 


Copyright 1939, Robert E. Owens III 


Page 30 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 

















reading, should rest on the shelf, anyway) and contains 
six separate small programs. 

Most of these programs have close public domain 
or shareware equivalents, but—in most cases, at least 
—they represent some improvement in performance or 
features over their free cousins. Their usefulness varies, 
in my judgement, from almost none to moderate. All 
programs behave well (with very\&N exceptions men¬ 
tioned below) and work as advertised, so basing your 
buying decision on the published specifications, without 
the hands-on experience, is quite safe. 

DC RAMIT - Another RAMdisk? 

Maybe not just another RAMdisk; the authors claim 
it is faster than any other RAMdisk available. On the 
other hand, the speed differences between different 
RAMdisks mean almost nothing in normal use, so while I 
can appreciate the claimed speed as a technical feat, 
as a user I do not care much about it. DC RAM/T also 
has some uncommon features. For example, it emu¬ 
lates the structure of a floppy (with tracks and sectors), 
so it can be re-formatted or image-copied. Again, this 
is not a feature you will need often. 

DC RAM/T can be run as a desktop accessory or as 
a stand-alone program, although in the latter case the 
only thing you can do with it is copying data to and 
from it, as the ramdisk is de-installed upon leaving the 
program. 

A minor nuisance is that DC RAM/T kept my floppy 
drives spinning continuously when I tested it. Luckily, I 
do not use it at all: my old trusty YARD (and recently 
the HRamd/skixoxn CodeHead Software) do all I need. 

DC Desktop Organizer 

DC DSKORG is a nifty utility, which will take your 
DESKTOP.INF file and re-make it into a stand-alone 
program (just over Ik in size). You can have as many of 
these programs as you wish; clicking on the chosen 
one will redefine your current desktop appropriately 
(window and icon positions, installed applications, text 
vs. icon display etc.). 

Once again, depending on your working habits, you 
may find this program useful or not. Most of us are used 
to a given desktop window configuration, and many use 
the A/eoDesklxoxn Gribniff Software—these groups will 
find no use for DC DSKORG. If, however, you have a 
need for re-defining your desktop organization on the 
fly, then DC DSKORG will come in handy. 

Self Extracting ARC 

DC SEA (which stands for Self Extracting ARC) 
takes a compressed .ARC file, and produces a new 
executable file, with the compressed data embedded 
inside. Executing this new program will give you the 
choice between listing the archive contents or extract¬ 
ing (de-compressing) it. 


Once again, personally I do not see much use for 
this program. It does not give you any new options 
above those given by the many available ARC shell 
programs working in tandem with the current version of 
ARC. It is also incompatible with the recent ARC 6.02ST 
(an attempt to self-extract the created file gives a bad 
header diagnostics). Oh, well, why bother? 

DC ARC Extractor 

DC Xtract is an ARC extractor. It comes in the form 
of a desktop accessory only—it cannot be renamed to 
a PRG file and run from the desktop (and here this 
feature would be much more useful than in the DC 
RAM/T case!). It is also small—just above 11k. 

DC Xtract will take an ARC file and extract the 
original files from it (it can be also used for listing the 
archive contents and testing its integrity). It does work 
with files created with ARC 6.02ST, and it works very 
fast, much faster than the ARC \tse\f (I have not run any 
benchmarks, but the factor of four, claimed by the 
Double Click people is consistent with my impressions). 
No, it would not automatically de-arc your files into a 
created folder, nor does it support the newer .LZH 
(LHARC) archive format. 

Who may want to replace (or supplement) their 
ARC and ARCShe//{ or DeArc/t) with DC Xtract ? I can 
imagine that those of us who use floppy-based 
systems may find de-archiving of their files significantly 
more convenient with DC Xtract : even when run from a 
shell, ARC.TTP is loaded again and again from disk for 
every archive. 

DC Deskey 2.0: A Half-step in the Right 

Direction 

This utility (a desktop accessory) is somewhat 
similar to the StartKey, published some years ago in the 
STart magazine. It allows you to define keyboard 
equivalents for menu entries in any program. Once 
defined, these equivalents can be saved in a disk file, 
which will be loaded automatically every time the 
program is executed (provided that DC Deskey is 
installed, of course). 

For example, the early versions (below 3.0) of the 
First Word did not have keyboard equivalents for many 
frequently invoked functions. Now not only can you 
assign these functions to keystrokes (say, Alt-F for 
Find), but you can do it in a manner consistent between 
various programs you use. 

Loading the configuration file in StartKey had to be 
done manually for each program; DC Deskey does it 
automatically. On the other hand, DC Deskey has a 
painful limitation—it allows only for assignment of menu 
entries, as opposed to other GEM events (like, say, 
scrolling the window up or down). It also does not allow 
for re-assignment of keyboard-bound functions. Start- 
Key, as buggy as it was, did have both these 
capabilities. Including them into DC Deskey would make 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 31 



it alone worth the price of the whole package, at least 
for some of us (myself in this number). I still hope 
somebody (maybe the Double Click people themselves) 
will provide us with a well-designed, convenient and 
well-behaved equivalent of StartKey. 

DC Squish - Now, We Are Cooking! 

This is, from my viewpoint at least, the most useful 
utility in the package, and it may well justify buying the 
whole thing. 

Remember the German PACKer (see the ST Tool¬ 
box of last September: you will find it among the “PD 
gems” which were changed into “PD games” in the 
table of contents). What both PACKer and DC Squish 
do, is to compress, sometimes quite significantly, 
program files on your disks. This not only saves you lots 
of space, but the resulting programs also load some¬ 
what faster. 

The PACKeris a no-frills, brute-force program. You 
have to type in the names of the original and 
compressed program files, and it will compress only 
one file at a time. Want another one? Re-run PACKer 
—not too convenient in larger compression sessions. 
Luckily, you do not have to do it often. 

Once packed, a program will run as it always used 
to (except that it will load faster and occupy less space 
on disk), as it is automatically decompressed back 
when loaded. Very, very handy. 

The original PACKer would not compress desktop 
accessories, or even some stand-alone programs (ST 
Publisher from Timeworks in this number). The latter 
problem has been solved by John Harris from Califor¬ 
nia: another utility, REMOVESYM.PRG, will make most 
of the trouble-making programs packable by the 
PACKer. Mr. Harris has also patched the PACKer—now 
you can enter the file names from the file selector. The 
new version (PACK2.PRG, UNPACK.PRG, REMOVE¬ 
SYM.PRG and documentation) can be downloaded 
from GEnie; Joe Waters will also gladly include it in the 
CNPublic Domain Library'X somebody asks him. 

Coming back to DC Squish —this program is both 
more capable and more polished than PACKer. It can 
pack (or, if you prefer, squish) the files, unpack them, 
and show the information on packed files. But, and this 
is the decisive factor in its favor, it will also pack 
desktop accessories! The very first day it saved me 
more than one megabyte on my boot partition! I was 
also finally able to configure my floppy boot disk (I do 
not leave home without it) with all the handy acces¬ 
sories I may need when visiting other ST users (and, 
needless to say, all my friends have STs at home). 

Wait, this is not all. The programs packed by DC 
Squish can have the “fast load bit” enabled (this 
speeds up the loading process under the new TOS 1.4). 
You can also disable the process of clearing the 
program’s data memory (remember Pinhead dy Charles 
Johnson, another small wonder, see the September CN 


issue agairt), so that the programs will, again, start up 
even faster, which is especially noticeable during the 
boot-up process. Programs packed with DC Squish do 
not need Pinhead any more! 

Some programs, however, assume that their data 
memory is cleared at the start. Keith Gerdes, the author 
of DC Squish, allows you not only to disable or enable 
the clearing sequence, but also to replace it with his 
own, significantly faster. If your program does not run 
properly with the memory clearing disabled, re-pack it 
with the appropriate option enabled and it will work just 
fine. All this is nicely described in the user’s manual, 
without assuming you are a machine whiz on the one 
hand, but without insulting your intelligence on the 
other—a rare balance, indeed. 



DC SQUISH vlil - File Loadpactor 

Copyright (c) 1989 DCS fill right* reserved. 




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Last but not least, DC Squish is much faster than 
PACKer and more convenient to use. 

Does this mean you should throw your trusty 
PACKer away? No. The old hand has one advantage: it 
compresses files somewhat more efficiently than DC 
Squish ir. 1 . 1 . For example, Ei_ Cai 1.18 (original size 
177.2k) was packed down to 110.5k (or 62%) by 
PACKer and to 118.6k (66%) by DC Squish. This seems 
to be a rule: after packing Data Manager ST, Fontzi, 
Signum ii, Ei_ Cai and Publisher ST (the last one without 
the .OVL overlays), the average compression factor for 
PACKer was 59%, while for DC Squish — 63% (the 6% 
difference between both programs translates into the 
total of 34.5k of disk space). 

This difference is not very significant, but I still keep 
the PACKer for the cases where every byte counts, 
while using DC Squish tor desktop accessories. 

There are just two things I do not like about 
DC Squish. The first one is the fancy user interface, 
including dialogs with buttons getting dark when the 
mouse moves over them. At first, this looks nice, but 
soon becomes tiring—I often have to move the mouse 
out of a button to check whether it is selected. There is 
really no need for this deviation from the standard: it 
does not offer any new capabilities compared to the 
“regular” GEM ways. Moreover, the unorthodox use of 
the right mouse button serves no purpose and just 
leads to confusion. (Remember the dialog in DC 


Page 32 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 








Formatter, instructing you to use the right button to exit 
dialog boxes? The only way to exit that dialog was by 
pressing the ^button!). 

These are, however, minor complaints. You will 
discover much funnier news when reading the docu¬ 
mentation update file, enclosed on disk: “You are not 
allowed to distribute squished files to any other person 
or computer,” it says, lest others “benefit without 
buying the software. "Now, I understand that the loader 
embedded into each squished program contains some 
copyrighted code, but still, this limitation seems, from 
my viewpoint at least, unreasonable (not to say 
ridiculous). You cannot squish a public domain game 
(or another freely distributed program) and pass it on to 
others? You have to buy a new copy of DC Utilities for 
each computer you use? Fortunately, I have packed my 
compilers at home with PACKer before installing them 
in my office—if I did this with DC Squish, I would not 
sleep at night, waiting for a friendly FBI agent to knock 
at 3 a.m. on my door. 

Gentlemen, think again! When you compile a 
program, it contains much more copyrighted code 
(compiler libraries) than your loader, and virtually no 
compiler vendor requires any licence fees for distribu¬ 
tion of the executables (those who did are no longer on 
the market). The next thing along your line will be a disk 
formatter with a clause against distributing disks format¬ 
ted with it! 

The Decision Is Up to You 

Should you run to your dealer and buy DC Utilities 
This depends, and I hope my review can help you in 
making the right decision. Some people I know say it is 
one of the best buys of the year, some say do not 
bother (or worse). 

In spite of the criticism above, I find the $26 
expense quite justified, first of all because of the DC 
Squish. Besides, the package is quite inexpensive 
(remember those $30 RAMdisks and disk caches from 
two years ago?) and, let me stress again, performs as 
advertised. Even if I have not found much use for some 
of its programs, your working patterns and needs may 
be different. 

What also is important is that it is difficult not to 
notice that the workmanship of these programmers is 
high-class. They seem to know the ST in and out and I 
hope the ST market will see more results of their work. 
DC Utilities: Double Click Software, P.O.Box 741206, 
Houston, TX77274; (713)645-3769 

Dan Wilga Strikes Again 

If you have NeoDesk 2.05 (and if you don’t, 
something is definitely wrong), you may be not aware of 
quite an array of goodies inside that program, which sit 
dormant there, waiting for NeoDesk companion pro¬ 
grams to be released. 


Just before Christmas I received the pre-release 
version of the NeoDesk Toolkit and some other goodies 
from Gribniff Software. 

NeoDesk can communicate with properly written 
desktop accessories, which can use many of its 
routines (for example, all its quite sophisticated disk 
operations). This means that the accessories may 
contain much less code than they would need other¬ 
wise. (The accessories have to be written in C, although 
there is a way to bypass this limitation). 

The first utilities using this protocol, are a command 
shell (again? this one, at least, seems to work!) and a 
recoverable trash can. Yes, you will be able to 
un-delete a deleted file. 

I hope to write more about these products in the 
March issue. They look very promising, and—in the 
beta version—cleaner than many programs in their 
distribution stage. 

Opinions, Opinions... 

If we talk reviews and beta stage, let me make one 
thing clear. Like many writers, I follow the rule of not 
presenting my negative remarks to the program authors 
and distributors before the review is published, if it 
refers to a product already being distributed (read: sold 
to customers hoping for something better). On the other 
hand, such a communication makes a lot of sense while 
the program is under development, i.e. before anybody 
buys it. In such a case the reviewer bases his opinion 
on the marketed version of the product. I believe this 
approach is in the best interest of the readers, who 
depend, to a smaller or larger degree, on the reviewer’s 
opinions. 

One can imagine exceptions from this rule, but 
these are very embarassing situations—both for the 
writer and for the program author. 

If you read this column regularly, you may guess I 
am referring to my negative evaluation of ACCess in the 
November issue, and to an answer from Mr. Douglas 
Hodson, the program’s publisher, in December’s Letters 
to the Editor. 

Without getting into details (remember what I said 
about the risk of engaging into lengthy exchanges?), 
and after the re-reading of both my review and the 
letter, I feel I have to tax your patience by making the 
two following points: 

□ I stick to my opinions expressed in the review 
(this also includes the technicalities); 

□ I am glad that Mr.Hodson (I enjoyed meeting him 
at the Fest. too) is not taking it personally.. 

One of the first programs I reviewed for the Current 
Notes back in 1987 was Prospero Pascal v. 1 . The 
review contained quite a lot of very critical remarks. 
Version 2 of Prospero Pascal is now my favorite 
language on the ST. Let me hope the same thing will 
happen to all the programs I have the privilege of 
criticizing on these pages. 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 33 



CN SPECIAL 






* * 


Atari 8-Bit Systems: 

Alive and Well in Alaska 

by Stephen LaFevers 



I use computers a lot. I’m a 
writer and educator in Alaska and 
have used many computers— 
Apple, IBM, Vector Graphic, Kaypro, 
Commodore, Macintosh. That’s why, 
when I have a choice, I use an Atari. 
If you don’t understand that state¬ 
ment, you’ve never used another 
brand of computer. 

The computer I use most is an 
Atari 130XE. What do I do with it? 
Glad you asked. For one thing, I 
write. I have written five books on it 
(it’s great for word processing). I 
have used Atariwriter Plus and 
Typesetter to put out a statewide 
newsletter, and I’ve produced many 
overhead transparencies as well as 
several video training tapes with 
Atari 8-bit systems. 

The great graphics and sound 
capabilities of the 8-bit are terrific 
for video tape production. First, you 
tape the live action; then, with 
another recorder tied into the Atari 
monitor jack, you blend in the sound 
and graphics. There are a number of 
public domain and several commer¬ 
cially available programs that are 
excellent for adding audiovisuals to 
tape. 

Advanced Music System and 
Music Studio are terrific for adding 
music. Between Movie Maker, Mes¬ 
sage Display, Mad Scientist Bulletin 
Board, Atari Touch Tablet, Typeset¬ 
ter, and a few simple type-in pro¬ 
grams, you can put anything you 
can imagine on the screen and onto 
video tape. And it’s relatively easy to 
produce all kinds of specialized 
sound effects. 

Oh, I know you cannot get the 
quality of picture from an 8-bit that 
you can from an ST, but that’s 
irrelevant because a television set is 
incapable of reproducing that kind 
of quality. With an 8-bit, however, 


what you see is what you get. The 
TV can reproduce it perfectly from 
tape. And, unless you are a MIDI 
nut, and I’m not, you can get 
considerably better sound from an 
8-bit than you can from an ST. (If 
you are a MIDI nut, there are MIDI 
interfaces for the XL/XE computers.) 

I have also used my XE to 
create course outlines, test question 
data banks and printouts, a video 
tape catalog and a listing data bank 
for more than 1,000 titles, and in¬ 
numerable other applications that 
require a good computer like my 
Atari. 

Some people have been com¬ 
plaining that more new software has 
been coming out for the ST than for 
8-bit computers. I feel, however, 
that this is due, in part, to the fact 
that there is already far more 8-bit 
stuff on the market. The ST is only 
trying to catch up. It’s also true that 
a lot of older software for the 8-bit 
is disappearing, but that is to be 
expected, since what is vanishing 
isn’t good enough to compete. 
There is a lot of good stuff out there 
for our machines and more is com¬ 
ing all the time. 

The local Atari store in Fair¬ 
banks, Alaska [Far North Com¬ 
puters, 59 College Rd., #217, Fair¬ 
banks, AK. 99701—Ph. (907) 456- 
3700—if you’re interested], for 
example, has more than 150 titles 
available on cartridge alone! They 
include word processors, databases, 
paint programs, science applica¬ 
tions, languages, alternative DOS 
carts, a graphic operating environ¬ 
ment like the ST uses, educational 
titles, and, of course, games. When 
you add to that the hundreds of 
titles in stock on disk, the mind is 
boggled! Walk into an Amiga dea¬ 
lership sometime and see what’s in 
stock. 


This store has eleven different 
word processing programs in stock 
for the 8-bit! By my last count that’s 
more than are available for the ST. 
There’s a word processor that is 
designed to include graphics and 
works something like a desktop 
publishing program, (a similar pro¬ 
gram, Word Up, has recently hit the 
ST market). There’s another that has 
integrated a word processor with a 
database and terminal program; 
there’s no equivalent for the ST. 
One lets you work on two docu¬ 
ments at once with windows; 
another has a spell checker that 
inserts the correct spelling without 
you having to retype it; the list goes 
on and on. 

And the variety doesn’t stop 
with word processors. There are 
databases ranging from simple 
enough for a child, to complex 
enough to rival anything put out for 
IBM-PCs. There are spread sheets, 
professional and home accounting 
packages, tax programs, graphing 
programs, print utilities, and scores 
of educational programs for 
everyone from preschoolers to col¬ 
lege graduates and trade school 
students. There are four different 
desktop publishing programs, not 
counting things like Award Ware, 
Printshop, and the stuff for little kids. 
And of course there are a zillion 
games. 

Many of the newer games play 
as well on the 8-bit as their equiv¬ 
alents do on the ST, and the gra¬ 
phics are outstanding. There are 
arcades, puzzles, mazes, adven¬ 
tures, board games, card games, 
racing games, talking games, musi¬ 
cal games, educational games and 
games that work with the light gun- 
-something you cannot get for the 
ST. 


Page 34 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 






CN SPECIAL 


All of these 8-bit programs are 
in stock at our local Atari store. You 
can walk in and buy them off the 
shelf. And if you don’t find what you 
are looking for in the store, it can 
probably be ordered for you. There 
are far more titles (and peripherals) 
available locally for Atari 8-bits than 
there are for Apple or Commodore 
8-bits, or even 16-bit machines. As 
a matter of fact, the only other 
computer in town that has anywhere 
near the variety of software and 
hardware available locally is the ST. 

And the 8-bit is unsurpassed in 
educational applications, even by 
Apple who made its name in edu¬ 
cation. The Fairbanks store must 
have 50 educational 8-bit titles in 
stock and scores more available by 
special order. Compare that to how 
many—20 or 30 for the ST? 

Now I’ve heard that some 
people believe Atari is not support¬ 
ing the 8-bit line, and I can see why 
people could think that. After all, 
Atari didn’t come out with a laser 
printer for the 8—bit, or a hard drive. 
(But there are lasers and hard drives 
that will work with the 8-bit. I have 
an HP DeskJet for laser quality print 
on the 8-bit, and it works just fihe. 
My wife is writing her master’s thesis 
on it right now.) Remember, Atari is 
playing catch up with the ST, so it 
stands to reason there will be more 
new products there. Also, since the 
8-bit line is so well established, they 
can afford to let it slide while they 
concentrate on the ST. 

Remember also, however, that 
Atari has recently come out with a 
double-sided, double-density DOS 
for the 8-bit to go with the new 
DS/DD drive. Atari has an excellent 
letter quality printer for the 8-bit, not 
for the ST, and their dot matrix 
printer isn’t bad. Other recent intro¬ 
ductions include the 80 column/ 
interface, light gun, a 1200 baud 
modem (so it works on the ST 
too—I’m not picky), and bank- 
switchable cartridges that allow up 
to 256K of programming. Dozens of 


new cartridges have been introdu¬ 
ced, and dozens more are under 
development both at Atari and other 
companies. 

Everything imaginable within the 
capabilities of these machines has 
already been done, right? Not so, 
Virginia. Third party developers are 
still coming up with new products. 
With ten years of product develop¬ 
ment already behind the 8-bits, that 
can’t be easy. It is true that we 
already have stuff like digital scan- 


The next time 
someone moans about 
the Atari 8-bit, just think 
of the poor sap who 
bought a Vic-20, 
Commodore Plus 4, Pet, 
Osborne, Timex Sinclair, 
TI-99, Adam, Apple 
Lisa, IBM PC-Junior, 
Intellivision, or COCO. 


ners, video digitizers, audio digiti¬ 
zers, MIDI interfaces, color printers, 
light pens, drafting tablets, RAM 
upgrades to 1040K and the like, but 
there are new things still to come. 
New types of software designed for 
the new graphic operating environ¬ 
ments, 16-bit chips to speed ope¬ 
rations, more 80-column application 
software, and, of course, a lot more 
new generation, big memory, high 
resolution games are coming down 
the pike. 

Atari doesn’t have to worry 
about the 8-bits competing with STs 
because the 8-bits fill a gap in the 
ST market: the family with small 
children. Only the 8-bit will satisfy 
this market because only the 8-bit 
line has the computers, software, 
and peripherals to fulfill the needs of 
parents and children alike—and it’s 
inexpensive enough that parents 


aren’t afraid to let the kids play with 
it. 

The next time someone moans 
about the Atari 8-bit, just think of 
the poor sap who bought a Vic-20, 
Commodore Plus 4, Pet, Osborne, 
Timex Sinclair, TI-99, Adam, Apple 
Lisa, IBM PC-Junior, Intellivision, or 
COCO. When was the last time 
something new came out for one of 
those machines? Think about the 
predicament of the orphaned Com¬ 
modore 64 owners who have 3.5 
inch drives while the available soft¬ 
ware is on 5.25 inch disks. Remem¬ 
ber the Macintosh 128/512 and 
Apple l/ll owners you never hear 
about who are being abandoned by 
Apple. And while you’re at it, light a 
candle for the CP/M owners who 
once had THE MACHINE, but have 
fallen from grace, and the IBM 
compatible people who have not 
been IBM compatible since PS/2 
came out. True, they’re fighting hard 
to stay alive, but so is PS/2, and 
somebody is going to lose. 
Remember also that most of those 
machines will never be upgraded to 
perform all the functions that your 
8-bit could when you opened the 
box. 

I have been computing on Atari 
equipment since Nolan Bushnell 
came out with the 2600 back in the 
1970s. Most people don’t know it, 
but there was a Basic cartridge for 
the 2600 that would let you write 
simple programs and produce music 
and graphics on your TV set. Atari 
still supports that machine, although 
less vigorously than the newer ones, 
and the same is true of the 8-bit 
computers. 

Don’t worry. Be happy. Atari is 
still selling product for every 
machine they’ve ever made, some¬ 
thing no other manufacturer can 
say. If you support your machine, so 
will the market place. Buy what’s out 
there, discourage pirating, and 
developers will continue providing 
product. 

Stephen LaFevers, 940 Clear, 
North Pole, Alaska 99705. 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 35 







And The Winner Was.... 

Lynx & Game Boy—Mano a Mano 

by Frank F. Sommers 


Happy vs Unhappy 

A subgroup of Freudian analysts 
maintains that easily born, easily 
brought-into-the-world babies are 
usually of pleasing dispositions. 
Should that unlikely fact be true 
then my Lynx is destined for deep 
depression throughout its existence 
wherever it may be. 

Federal Express arrived with the 
package as I was going out the door 
for the airport. So what’s being 
late for a plane when your 
handheld, color monitor, com¬ 
puter game machine has arrived. 
Particularly if you know that the 
Xmas market will see but a few 
of this endangered species. The 
bags went down, the boxes 
were “field striped,” vital con¬ 
tents shoved into a carry-on 
bag, a set of six AA batteries 
was snatched from a drawer and 
we roared off to the airport and 
a cross-continent hop to “Cool 
City” in California. 

An Agonizing Beginning 

How long after boarding did 
it take to have the Lynx up and 
surfing away in California 
Garnet Would you believe 
somewhere over Denver, about 
two hours short of San Fran¬ 
cisco? Why? Well, when the 2nd 
officer on the plane doesn’t have a 
screw driver, and the set of snatch¬ 
ed batteries was dead, and the sixth 
remained stuck in the battery chan¬ 
nel, and you had to wait for lunch to 
bend your spoon and open up the 
back, and California Games was 
DOA.... Well, that’s a lot of frustra¬ 
tion to wash away and have you 
start enjoying the device in your 
hand. 


You ask yourself, “Can I com¬ 
ment on this product without pre¬ 
judice?”, and the answer is yes, 
about as unbiased as a juror listen¬ 
ing to a drug pusher who inciden¬ 
tally had also shot the juror’s sister. 

After discarding the one game 
that comes with the Lynx, getting a 
new set of batteries installed, and 
putting in Blue Lightening, one of 
the three other games in existence 
for Atari’s new piece of hardware, I 


settled down to play, while others 
watched the movie. In the darkened 
cabin, the pastels on the screen, 
though by no means as bright as 
your ST were still easy to see. What 
wasn’t as pleasing was the wooden 
action of flying the fighter bomber 
across the screen, mechanistically 
shooting and strafing until your 
thumb began to stiffen and you 
mercifully were brought into an 


automatic landing and the next level 
of attack and dog fight or strafe. 

With that we pushed open the 
back of a machine, that is about a 
foot long and four inches wide and 
two inches thick. Gingerly we pulled 
out the Blue Lightening game card 
and pressing down firmly pushed in 
an arcade labyrinth-type game, 
heralded as E/ectrocop. Here, in a 
space ship environment, the hero 
dashes around shooting various 
shaped androids, as he moves 
from cabin to cabin, and level to 
level searching for none other 
than the president’s daughter. 
The figures are distinct if not 
bright and sharp and the action 
at 16 MHz is smooth. But after 
15-20 minutes you have a taste 
of deja-vu which made you wish 
you were back at your big set 
playing Barbarian. 

A quick change of cards. 
Gates of Zendocon, the last of 
the four games is installed. It’s a 
Goidrunner type arcader. After a 
few minutes of scrolling and 
blasting away, you find the cap¬ 
tain’s announcement that S.F. is 
just ahead and to please buckle 
up, not necessarily and unwanted 
interruption. 

So far what’s the best thing 
you can say about baby Lynx? 
Well, probably the interest the 
guy in the seat across the isle 
displayed when he asked you 
how much it cost and who made it. 

Third Party View 

An extended weekend later and 
you are back home, with probably 
another hour logged on the machine 
for a total of three. You’re wonder¬ 
ing why you were still put off by the 
nature of play of the games. By 
contrast, a lawyer son in “Cool City” 



Page 36 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 



who started his computer game 
playing on a mainframe at Dart¬ 
mouth a decade ago and who still 
enjoys them spent an hour with Blue 
Lightening and would have gladly 
doubled that had events permitted. 

Thus you sense that another 
session is mandatory before reach¬ 
ing any final conclusions. Also a call 
has been made to B.N. Genius, the 
speedy mail order company that 
had received 150 of these machines 
from Atari to meet all their Xmas 
demands, and who had back orders 
for 146 before the overdue shipment 
arrived, requesting a replacement 
for the inoperative California Games 
card. 

After about twenty minutes, a 
challenge of sorts emerged from 
the flying game. Could you get 
to the next level, learn the code 
word for that level, so that you 
could start there rather than from 
the tedious time consuming 
beginning. We even engaged in 
a little unsuccessful “code 
cracking,” since only four letters 
were involved, typing in possible 
variations, extrapolating from the 
two known code words for the 
first two levels, “Plan” and 
“Alfa.” 

Then as we started the 
series from the beginning, 
everything went black. And black 
it stayed. New batteries, wall- 
plug adaptor, nothing made any 
difference. So what had begun 
in frustration, ended after some 
four-plus hours of “hands-on- 
experience” the same way. Com¬ 
plete frustration. The credit-card 
sized game cartridges went back 
into their boxes. So did the Lynx. 
And with a sense of lightness we left 
the return package at the post office 
and went with a renewed smile on 
our face, happily on our way. Who 
knows who has that little Lynx baby 
now. 

And in the Other Corner 

At Xmas time, Nintendo had 
succeeded in getting the last of their 


1,000,000 plus Game Boys into toys 
stores all over America. They had 
gotten such a tight hold on the 
computer game market that special 
interest groups finally pushed the 
U.S. Congress into setting a date for 
hearings to see if “monopolistic 
magic” was being practiced. Read, 
“Marketing magic—Saturday morn¬ 
ing TV advertising to the max!” 

And when the two contenders 
“weigh in,” how do they compare? 
About half the cost for the machine, 
half the cost for the game car¬ 
tridges, and two-thirds as big and 
heavy. Game Boy, that is. Lynx 
retails for $199.95 and Game Boy 
$99.95. Lynx Games are $39.95 and 
the Boy’s $19.95. 


Getting Started 

The Game Boy almost starts 
itself. Four AA batteries, and flick the 
switch and there it is. There what is? 

Any comparison of the two 
machines inevitably gets back to the 
question of marketing. A device is 
successful if it sells. To sell it has to 
appear on store shelves. By that 
standard, Game Boy will be 10 
times more successful than Lynx— 
100,000 versus 1,200,000 sold over 
the holidays. Appeal? The game that 
comes with Game Boy is Tetris ; the 


international favorite, that addicts 
one ’til dawn. Even when California 
Games works it cannot be called 
“addicting.” 

But things begin to level out 
when you discover that most stores 
have only a couple of other games 
for Game Boy, e.g. Super Mario 
Land and a tennis simulation. The 
difference in speed, Lynx being 
approximately four times faster, 
doesn’t show up on the screen as 
such, probably because Tetris by its 
nature has a jerky motion even on 
the Mega ST and Mario is a simple 
jump-and-run game. The controls 
on both machines are easy to 
operate, both with a four-way 
rocker pad and A & B buttons. Lynx 
also has a restart and pause 
switch and a rotate screen toggle 
so you can play it either right or 
left handed. Both have connector 
cables for multiple player action, 
optional adapters for either wall 
or car cigarette lighter plugs. And 
Lynx has a headphone socket, 
so the sound won’t disturb the 
person in the seat or the pillow 
beside you. 

Conclusions-Predictions 

The Lynx wins hands down 
on the ease of screen viewing. In 
the dark it is easily played and 
enjoyed. The Game Boy can’t 
really be seen in the dark, even 
though both machines have 
brightness controls. Thus there is 
some eye strain which detracts 
from your involvement with the 
device. As more games come on 
the market the wooden nature of the 
current games for the Lynx will 
dissipate and likely not every player 
will react to the current crop the 
same way this reviewer did. So....if 
Atari can increase production, and if 
Atari will advertise the Lynx, they 
have a product that could indeed 
sell far better than Game Boy. 

So....considering all the “if’s,” 
by the end of this year, we predict 
Nintendo will continue to outsell 
Atari 10 to 1. 



January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 37 










I have just finished a four day 
marathon writing spree, completing 
a forty-odd page manual for our 
hard disk products, so I am simul¬ 
taneously primed for and tired of 
writing about hard disks. But, I 
promised I would finish up our three 
part series, and this being the fourth 
part, I think it’s about time. I said I 
would tie up any loose ends. Well, I 
was right. There are several loose 
ends, plus some cool questions 
from interested readers which I 
would like to address. And, a sur¬ 
prise. 

Interleave 

What is interleave? You’ve 
probably heard about it, and if you 
haven’t, you will, and will wonder 
what the heck it is. Here’s the deal. 
On a disk, you have circular tracks. 
Tracks are divided into sectors (arcs 
of the circle). In a perfect world, 
sectors would be laid out just like 
the numbers on a clock, and the 
computer could read data quickly 
enough to read one sector after 
another as the disk spins at 3600 
rpms. This scenario is what is refer¬ 
red to as 1:1 interleave, where 
consecutively numbered sectors are 
laid out contiguously in a track. 

Enter: Slow IBMs. Because 
many machines (particularly PC 
XTs) can’t transfer data quickly 
enough, a new scheme was creat¬ 
ed. The reason was, if sectors were 
contiguously arranged, as the slow 
computer read the first sector, by 
the time it got done thinking about it 
and was ready to read another 
sector, the second sector had 
already gone by and a near com¬ 
plete revolution was required to get 
to that second sector again. So, 
why not move the second sector a 
little further from the first one? This 
way, after the computer read the 
first sector, and it thought about it, 


the second sector would be right 
where the head was. How handy. In 
between the first two consecutively 
numbered sectors, you put another 
sector (like the 14th one for exam¬ 
ple) which makes sense based on 
the speed of the disk. This situation 
is 2:1 interleave, where you have 
one sector between two consecu¬ 
tively numbered sectors. You can 
put as many sectors as you want 
between consecutively numbered 
sectors, and the ratio increases 
accordingly. 

The ST is capable of handling 
1:1 interleave. The place that you’ve 
probably heard interleave come up 
is with Seagate 296N (and 277N, 
too, I believe) drives, which are 
hardwired (in ROM) to do a 2:1 
interleave. This is specifically for the 
accommodation of slow PCs. You’d 
think, “Gosh, if that drive only does 
2:1 interleave, then why should I use 
it on my ST if it can do 1:1?” Well, 
the answer is that the ST can do 2:1 
quite handily, and you still get a very 
fast approximate 500K per second 
transfer rate. That’s all I want to say 
about interleave. Questions? Call 
me. 

Backing Up 

People ask me, “Dave, what do 
you do about backing up?” Not a 
great deal is what I usually tell them. 
Maybe I’m a rebel, but I don’t have 
too much to lose. Hard drive backup 
is not a compulsory task dictated by 
gods or laws. The amount to which 
you backup your hard drive should 
directly reflect your fear of losing 
what’s on it. I don’t have anything 
too earth shattering on my hard disk 
drive. The only stuff that I consider 
worthy of backup are things that I 
write or obtain over a modem. I 
mean heck, where did the other 
stuff come from? The stork? I don’t 
think so. It came from my floppy 


collection. My floppy collection is a 
big pile of backups. So, if you have 
a 500 page document or piece of 
source code that is your life’s work, 
then that is worth backing up, many 
times, for that matter. 

Image backups and large 
hierarchical file backups are OK if 
you have a delicate ecological 
structure to your hard drive, with 
layers upon layers of artfully juxta¬ 
posed folders. Image backups are 
great for alternate operating sys¬ 
tems. But my personal hard drive 
resembles more of an ST-only 
heap. That’s just me though. If you 
must image backup, the removable 
cartridge hard drives (available from 
certain companies) and the tape 
backups are definitely the way to 
go. For file backup Turtle and a 
heap of floppies works great. And 
for backing up just your treasured 
creations and downloaded graphics 
demos, about four floppies usually 
do the trick for me. 

Viewer Mail 

I received a few questions from 
our readers, and I thought I would 
try to answer them, as best I could, 
or at least reassure you that they 
were unanswerable. First off, 
someone wanted to know how the 
busy light works. The answer is, no 
one knows for sure. I tried to get 
schematics from a couple of manu¬ 
facturers and they wouldn’t budge. 
There are a lot of things that can 
make the busy light blink: a read, a 
write, an ID request—the list goes 
on. 

Someone wanted to know why 
the access time of some drives 
goes down after several hours of 
use. I have heard this to be true, but 
have empirically observed this 
phenomenon very rarely. I suspect it 
is just because heat buildup in the 
drive itself causes minute swelling 


Page 38 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 



and thus more resistance. I don’t 
know. Just a guess. If you have 
noticed this though, I would not 
worry about it. It’s just the way the 
hard drive works. 

Should you park the heads on 
an autoparking drive or not? The 
official answer from one manufac¬ 
turer (Seagate) is no, and that it can 
cause damage. I have done this 
before and not suffered any adverse 
effects, but why do it? If the drive is 
autoparking, there is no need to 
park it. So if you’re wondering if you 
should, don’t. 

Clay Miller of Idaho Falls, Idaho 
wants to know how to hook a 
second drive up to his Supra 20 
Megabyte drive. “To add another 
drive, it looks like I need a case, 
power supply, 25 pin to 50 pin 
external cable, a 50 pin to 50 pin 
internal cable, embedded controller 
SCSI drive and power. Is this right?” 
Yes it is. Just set that up, (according 
to my instructions in last month’s 
“Build It Yourself” column) and 
you’re essentially ready to go. But, 
SCSI addresses become an issue 
here. In fact, let me expound on that 
subject a second. 

Any device which uses the DMA 
port on the ST must have a unique 
SCSI address (0-7). Most hard 
drives use SCSI 0. The Atari Laser 
Printer uses 7, and sometimes 5. 
The clock in the ICD host adapter 
uses SCSI 6. If you add a second 
hard drive (with a separate control¬ 
ler) you must give it a unique SCSI 
address, like 1 (not 0, or 6 if you 
have an ICD host adapter). You just 
put a jumper on that new drive, and 
it will be SCS11 like magic. 

There is another parameter, 
called LUN (for logical unit number) 
which has been baffling multitudes 
of unsuspecting hard drive users. 
LUN is a distinction which has no 
meaning when talking about SCSI 
drives. LUN is used to differentiate 
between different ST506/412 drives 
which are hooked up to one con¬ 
troller. For instance, most controllers 
can handle two drives. To tell the 
difference, one is set as LUN 0 and 
the other is set as LUN 1. SCSI 


drives with embedded controllers 
each have their own personal con¬ 
troller, which can’t run a slave drive. 
Therefore, they are always LUN 0. 

Those are the questions I re¬ 
ceived which I deem swell enough 
to answer. 

Birth of a Feature 

I think we’ve pretty much 
exhausted the whole hard drive 
subject, so it’s time to move on to 
something else. So, starting next 
month, (actually in October, if you 
include this series) my column will 
be entitled Myths & Mysteries 
(sound OK to you Joe?) and it will 
be a general interest feature with 
questions and answers from con¬ 
cerned readers. We will cover the 
whole range of ST hardware and 
software. I will try to answer as 
many questions as I can per month, 
and throw in a couple of interesting 


stories and tidbits. I don’t claim to 
be a great oracle or anything, but 
being an Atari dealer, I do know the 
answers to many questions, and for 
those I don’t know, it will definitely 
do me good to do the research. And 
you, the readers will have the bene¬ 
fit of my research. So, really it’s an 
open forum for the opening and 
widening of ST knowledge. 

If you have a question you 
would like answered (the chances 
are high—I only got three res¬ 
ponses from my last plea for ques¬ 
tions), please send it to me one of 
the following ways: the mail (best 
way) David Troy, 556 Baltimore 
Annapolis Blvd., Severna Park, MD 
21146, GEnie: Toad-Serv., or Com¬ 
puServe: 72470,1605. So, that’s the 
deal. I look forward to it. 

Next month: how to get stuff 
from an 8-bit Atari to the ST—and 
vice versa! 


If you are a scientist or an engineer, 
or you are learning to be one, 
then we have something for you! 




LOGCl-SQ(QCHI(SQR fl,R)-QCHKSQR ft.IHT ,5R)))|~ 


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EL CAL. The Math Machine. 

36 standard functions * 44 statistical distribu- * Polynomial least squares * General function 
tion functions * 12 user-defined functions * optimization * Data points and histogram 
Function, histogram, scatter plots * Square, fitting * Linear equation systems * Matrix and 
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dt, equation solving * Mean, s.d., regression, * see reviews in Current Notes (May/89), ST 
correlation Informer (Sept/89), Atari Exp/orer{NovldS) 


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January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 39 




































































Accept No 
Substitutes. 





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TOAD COMPUTERS 


WE HAVE A WHOLE LOT OF HARD DISK STUFF AND MORE! 


NON HARD DISKS 


WE DON'T JUST SELL HARD DISKS! 


TOS 1.4 ($25 Installation).$80.00 

Spectre GCR (Roms Required)...$289.00 

Mac 128K Roms (for Spectre).Call 

PC Ditto H ($10 Installation).$289.00 

Fastech T-16 Board ($30 Inst.)..$289.00 

Atari SX212.$59.95 

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Atari Portfolio .$389.00 

64K RAM Card.$99.95 

32K RAM Cani.$59.95 

Serial Interface .$59.95 


TOAD DRIVES 


COMPLETE HARD DRIVES FOR THE ATARI ST 


TOAD 20 MB 28ms 3.5" Drive.$529 

TOAD 20 MB 40ms 3.5" Drive.$499 

TOAD 30 MB 28ms 3.5" Drive.$559 

TOAD 30 MB 40ms 3.5" Drive.$539 

TOAD 50 MB 28ms 3.5" Drive.$629 

TOAD 50 MB 40ms 3.5" Drive.$599 

TOAD 65 MB 28ms 5.25" Drive.$679 

TOAD 65 MB 40ms 5.25" Drive.$659 

TOAD 85 MB 28ms 5.25" Drive.$709 

TOAD 100 MB Dual 50 28ms 3.5" Drives.$959 

TOAD 100 MB Dual 50 40ms 3.5" Drives.$899 

TOAD 130 MB Dual 65 40ms 5.25" Drives.$i099 

TOAD 144 MB 28ms 5.25" Drive.$999 

TOAD 170 MB Dual 85 28ms 5.25" Drives.$1399 

All of our Toad Drives use the ICD Host Adapter and are available in expandable shoebox-style or 
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AND FIND OUT WHY WE WRITE THINGS THIS WAY 


Our store is centrally located between Baltimore, Washington, and 
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COMPLETE HARD DRIVES FOR THE ATARI ST 


FAST 85 MB 28ms 5.25" Drive.$739 was $769 

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FAST 40 MB 28ms 5.25" Drive.$647 was $709 

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FAST 30 MB 28ms 3.5" Drive.$595 was $629 

FAST 30 MB 40ms 3.5" Drive.$575 was $599 

FAST 20 MB 28ms 3.5" Drive.$545 was $569 

FAST 20 MB 40ms 3.5" Drive.$525 was $549 

FAST 100 MB 28ms Dual 3.5" Drives.$1049 was $1069 

FAST 100 MB 40ms Dual 3.5" Drives.$949 was $969 

ICD, Inc., a long-trusted name for Atari hardware makes a quality, under-the-monitor 
type case and power supply unit, that includes the ICD Host Adapter we use in all 
our hard drive products. This case is called the FAST case, and because of the high 
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prices. We assemble the drives ourselves, using quality Seagate drive mechanisms. 


DRIVE KIT PARTS 


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ICD ST Host Adapter.$99 

ICD ST Host & MFM Controller Kit..$199 

ICD ST Host & RLL Controller Kit.$239 

OMTT 3520 MFM Hard Disk Controller.$119 

OMTI 3527 RLL Hard Disk Controller..$149 

ICD FNST Hard Disk Kit (With Host Adapter).$259 

ICD FNST Hard Disk Kit (No Host Adapter).$179 

Shoebox Dual HD Case/PS, Host Adapter Ready.$109 

Under-the-Monitor Dual HD Case/PS, Etc.$119 

Under-the-Monitor Single HD Case/PS, Etc.$109 

Seagate ST296N 85MB 28ms SCSI Drive.$489 

Seagate ST157N 50MB 40ms SCSI Drive.$349 

Seagate ST157N-150MB 28ms SCSI Drive..$379 

Seagate ST138N 30MB 40ms SCSI Drive.$329 

Cables: Controller to Hard Disk.$10 

Cables: Host Adapter to Controller/SCSI Drive.$10 


ATARI MEGA ST 


Atari Mega ST2 CPU - $1169 
Atari SM124 Monochrome Monitor - $149 
Atari SLM804PCV - $1399 
Atari Mega ST4 DTP System - $3779 


Atari Mega ST4 CPU - . 

Atari SC1224 Color Monitor - $319 
Atari Megafile 30 Hard Drive • $599 
Atari SLM804 Toner Cartridges - $59.95 


I~kTo Order, Call (301) 544-6943, or Write to: 


/ Toad Computers, 556 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., Severna Park, MD 21146 

These prices reflect a 4% discount for money order, personal, or certified check. We accept 
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-- The G-Man — 

"...as seen on TV!" 


by David G. Grace 
G.S. Special Agent 



As we begin a new year, a new 
decade, we wonder what it will 
bring, good times or bad. The Atari 
community also wonders what the 
year will provide: new hardware or 
software, upgrades or revisions, new 
technology or rehashed ideas. One 
thing is almost certain. This author is 
more likely to appear on prime time 
television than Atari computers. 
Believe it or not, I really would prefer 
to see an Atari there. Ataris excite 
me. The programs for the ST are 
visually and audibly stunning. The 8 
bits really are “Power without the 
price.” I’m a stockholder in the 
company. My only writing (outside 
of law enforcement reports) is for 
Atari publications. I want the com¬ 
pany to succeed. I think it can 
succeed. I think it could be the 
biggest selling computer in America, 
not just Europe. I want to have a 
computer at home that’s compatible 
with the one at work. I WANT TO 
BUY AN ST! 

I’m sorry. I guess I got a little 
carried away. But sometimes the 
frustration point is easy to reach. 
Sometimes those who want Atari to 
succeed can’t help but wonder why 
it doesn’t. Like a ball team, one 
looks to the top when the team has 
the players, but still doesn’t win. 
One looks to the managers and 
owners. My ego will enjoy being on 
the tube this winter, but I’d rather be 
watching a station break with a Fuji 
symbol. 

Equal Justice for G-Man 

In case anyone out there will 
settle for seeing ME in prime time, 
you can do so in a TV movie on the 
ABC network called “Equal Justice.” 
It’s a pilot for a new series which is 


to begin running during the winter 
months. The pilot will probably be 
shown in January. I’m a glorified 
extra, appearing in several scenes 
which have little or nothing to do 
with the plot. The extent of my 
performance will be determined by 
the film editors. My only plot-related 
scene comes in the last fifteen 
minutes. There, in a District Attor¬ 
ney’s law library and in the space of 
a few minutes, I drink booze, get hit 
with a blow up doll, sing with Gene 
Pitney, and otherwise have a grand 
old time at a poker game. At one 
point, I sit on the arm of a chair 
(vacated by the blow up doll) next 
to one of the stars, Barry Miller, and 
drink whiskey out of a white mug. 
For that I got paid. What a country! 
Of course, if you aren’t interested in 
seeing me, and why should you, 
you can watch “Rosanne” or some¬ 
thing. Oh, in case you were won¬ 
dering, “Equal Justice” is similar in 
style to “LA Law” but is focused on 
a District Attorney’s office instead of 
a private law firm. No, they haven’t 
contacted me about doing the 
series. I predict that Atari will not be 
one of the sponsors. 

Looking Back 

I remember when we were in¬ 
undated with Atari commercials. The 
Atari 2600 game machine was a 
national craze. Everybody had to 
have Space Invaders. Lines formed 
in front of the PacMan machine. 
Atari computer clubs were looking 
for bigger places to hold their meet¬ 
ings. Atari magazines were springing 
up monthly. The ST created a new 
surge of interest, debate and even 
more magazines. Compute maga¬ 
zine gave as much space to Atari as 


it did Apple or IBM. Softs/de maga¬ 
zine had the disk or tape editions to 
save you hours of typing in, and 
there I tried my first text adventure, 
and I was hooked. I always carried 
the latest magazine in my G-Car. I 
would read it through every lunch 
hour, sitting outside courtrooms or 
on surveillance when it wasn’t my 
turn to watch. When the kids were in 
bed and Whatshername was watch¬ 
ing the upstairs TV, I’d pull the end 
table over in front of the one in the 
family room. While lamenting my 
lack of one of those expensive 
computer desks, I’d hook up the 
wires, plug in the joy stick and boot 
up a cartridge of Star Raiders or a 
tape on the 410.1 bought the Micro¬ 
prose flight simulation, Spitfire Ace, 
and I was hooked. I bought a disk 
drive and two more microprose pro¬ 
grams, F-15 Strike Eagle and Ken¬ 
nedy Approach. When that radio 
voice came through the TV, followed 
by the realistic static burst and when 
I flew in low over Libya, dodged the 
SAMs, dropped my bombs, pulled 
back hard on the stick, punched the 
afterburners on and headed home 
with a barrel roll at supersonic 
speed...DAMN! I was hooked! Was it 
so long ago? 

I’ve graduated to the 130 XE, 
multiple disk drives, Star NLQ print¬ 
er, a modem, i write with my Atari- 
writer+ downstairs, while my 
daughter does the same in her own 
room on the old 400, upgraded to 
48K with a full-stroke keyboard. An 
800 I bought for $15.00 (not includ¬ 
ing the power transformer) rounds 
out my trilogy of 8 bits. Not one has 
needed a penny’s repair in the past 
eight years, despite spilled drinks, 
dust and occasional dropping. With 


Page 42 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 






the word processor came a new 
hobby, writing. Writing about com¬ 
puters, especially Atari computers, 
and preferably with a touch of 
humor along the way. But what will 
tomorrow bring? 

Looking Forward 

To put it nicely, I don’t believe in 
psychics; you know, the seers who 
make predictions or tell you where 
you left Aunt Martha’s missing pin. 
I’ve been a Fed for over eighteen 
years and I have yet to see a 
psychic provide anything, short of 
comedy relief, to an investigation. I 
am happy to say that, to my know¬ 
ledge, they are not used by any 
Federal enforcement agency. For¬ 
tune tellers, card readers and astro¬ 
logers are con men (or women). 
Although I don’t always agree with 
Carl Sagan’s politics, I do agree that 
(despite the effect of the moon on 
the tides of Earth) the doctor who 
delivered you had more effect on 
you, due to distance and relative 
size, than did some vaporous nebu¬ 
lae in the Orion constellation. Nor 
do I believe that I, and one out of 
every twelve others in the world with 
my Zodiac sign (including some 
Aborigine from the Outback), can 
really expect “...a financial or busi¬ 
ness matter is to be settled to your 
advantage today, due to the in¬ 
fluence of a stranger who is a Scor- 
pio. 

Having established my view of 
predictors, I would now like to make 
some predictions. I never said it 
wasn’t possible to be accurate, I just 
don’t like those who claim they have 
some extraordinary power to do so, 
particularly those who charge for 
their services. I have no special 
powers, have never tried this before, 
and my service is provided free in 
this fine publication. It remains to be 
seen if I’m accurate. If I am, it’s 
based strictly on an examination of 
history and the application of 
deductive reasoning and logic. The 
dates provided are, of course, 
approximate ones. Even logic 
requires SOME guesswork. In any 
case, let’s look at the year 1990 as I 


see it from here. And remember, 
you heard it here first! 

Atari 1990 Highlights 

January 1: Shortly after midnight, 
at a New Years Eve party and with 
drink in hand, Jack Tramiel begins his 
annual “Business is War” speech. This 
has been a family tradition since his 
days as the owner of the Commodore 
computer company. 

January 15: Sam Tramiel, in an 
exclusive interview with Antic maga¬ 
zine, predicts that the 1990s will be the 
decade of the Atari. 

January 30: The Editor of Cur¬ 
rent Notes receives a letter protesting 
the G-Man’s use of KGB and CIA men 
as a vehicle for humor, suggesting that 
it could affect the success of the next 
Bush-Gorbachev summit meeting. 

February 15: Atari announces the 
development of a new hardware pro¬ 
duct, the STX computer. The new unit 
is said to run not only its own soft¬ 
ware, but also IBM, Macintosh, Apple 
II, and Amiga programs, without the 
need for additional hardware or soft¬ 
ware purchased from David Small. 

February 27: BBS communica¬ 
tions begin rumors which suggest that 
the new STX does not run the existing 
8 bit or ST software. Included in the 
ROM chips is a special routine that 
will prevent Darek Mihocka from mak¬ 
ing a translation program. This is 
added by Atari as “...a service to our 
users because, after all, why would 
they want to run cruddy old software 
they already own?” 

March 7: I call my broker to 
make sure my account is still active 
and to warn him to prepare to sell. 

March 25: At a CES show, Atari 
wows them with its new product line, 
including the STE, a 20 megabyte 
RAM laptop with MIDI interface, built 
in disk and hard drives, 90,000 pos¬ 
sible colors (over 1000 on screen at 
any given time), and voice synthesizer. 

April 1: Current Notes prints a 
G-Man April Fool article about the use 
of computer databases in Heaven, in¬ 
cluding a remote terminal located at 
the Pearly Gates for efficient entry 
control. 

April 12: Atari, in an exclusive 


interview with Analog Magazine, 
announces the release of TOS version 
43.211, which corrects all the bugs 
found in the three hundred previous 
versions. 

April 20: Current Notes receives 
the first letter protesting the G-Man’s 
insulting treatment of psychics and 
other gifted people who have powers 
and abilities far beyond those of mortal 
men. 

May 1: BBS systems around the 
country begin providing a new public 
domain utility program for down load¬ 
ing. It can be used to remove the new 
bugs found in TOS version 43.211. 

May 25: The first Atari 8-bit 
program of the year is released...in 
England. 

June 17: Letters of complaint 
begin to arrive at Current Notes, pro¬ 
testing the April Fool article on com¬ 
puters in Heaven. It will be noted that 
someone of a Judeo-Christian back¬ 
ground could find it disturbing that 
one’s entry into the Hereafter might 
require a delay for the selection of a 
joystick position and the pressing of 
the fire button. 

July 8: Atari reveals that the 
release of the STX and STE machines 
may be delayed by (pick one) A) a 
computer chip shortage, B) slow action 
by the FCC, C) software pirates, or D) 
the conjunction of Venus and Saturn. 

August 4: Sam Tramiel, in an 
exclusive interview with Watchtower 
magazine, announces that the STX and 
STE line is expected to be available in 
time for Christmas. In addition, the 
release will be made simultaneously 
with the beginning of a new prime 
time TV ad campaign, with print media 
support, featuring a well known star 
who will represent the company. 

August 20: Whatshername asks 
when I’m going sell that Atari stock. 

August 29: Atari stock rises to 
my absolute break even point (the cost 
of the stock plus broker commissions, 
interest lost and interest expenses paid). 
Whatshername insists that it will be my 
decision alone as to whether to sell that 
stock. However, I best not forget that 
I’ll have to live with the consequences 
for the rest of my life, or until I hit the 
millionaire lottery, whichever comes 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 43 



first. 

August 30: i sell. 

August 31: Atari stock rises three 
full points. 

September IS: Atari announces 
that its new TV ad campaign will kick 
off during a prime time special. The 
star who is to represent the company in 
the commercials continues to be a 
secret, but Leonard Tramiel lets it slip 
that it’s the head of a household on a 
popular TV situation comedy. 

September 20: Jeanne Dixon pre¬ 
dicts that the Atari ads will feature Bill 
Cosby, or maybe Elvis. 

September 26: Atari stock 
reaches its highest point since it went 
public. There is talk of a three for one 
split. 

October 2: The ST, following a 
redesign, is released. It doesn’t do 


anything new, but it now sports pastel 
colored function buttons and a built-in 
ROM version of PacMan (the Atari 
2600 version). 

October 15: Apple reveals its 
new hardware line during a TV ad blitz 
throughout the World Series. 

November 23: IBM reveals its 
new hardware during the Thanksgiving 
Day football games. 

December 7: [a date which will 
live in infamy] The new Atari ads hit 
prime time television. The company is 
represented by Rosanne Barr. The 
debut of the ads occurs throughout the 
Pee Wee Herman Christmas Special. 
The ads feature the Atari 2600 game 
machine. 

December 10: Atari stock drops 
five points. 

December 26: On Page 206 of 


the TV Guide (just oppositethe horo¬ 
scope) appears Rosanne Barr holding 
an Atari 2600 and saying “Here’s my 
recommendation for a memorable 
Christmas. See if you can stop the 
Space Invaders!” A red banner crosses 
the advertisement diagonally through 
one corner. The banner says, “As seen 
on TV!” 

December 31: Jack Tramiel, 
shortly before midnight at a New Years 
Eve party, gives his annual “Business 
is War” speech. He stuns the guests by 
admitting that he never sold his interest 
in Commodore. He adds that some¬ 
times infiltration beats an overt attack! 

January 2, 1991: Commodore 
stock plunges five points. 


Handle files Anywhere, Anytime with Universal Item Selector 
NEW W-I-D-E MODE can display up to 36 files._ 


Set up your 
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defaults by 
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Set up your 
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Shows actual 
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•STORAGE ■ 
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Program is only 29K. 
NOW SHOW 12 & 36 
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Determine file size, group 
size, disk capacity, partition 
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i Format in either drive A or drive B. 
(Twister Format enabled ;or TOS 
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Universal™ Iten Selector III 
/Directory: 

F:\PUBLISH\SOFTWARE\*.*_ 

|9| ' ! : ^ 59392 I 


1Fornafl I Folder I 
DOC STY DTP PI3 DOC* 


AUTHOFttlfc*-^ 
J-WTtJFF 
HI DINVOC.DTP 
ft:DLETTR.DTP 


y IHO:fiUST.DTP 
y IHU:CfiHD. OTP 

mm .DTP 


06-12-85 
06-12-85 
4180 05-24-85 

_ Al B .°_ B . 5 l 2 . 4 l 8 . 9 - 

15582 85-24-85 


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12:42 pn 
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— Selection: 
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Set File Attributes: 
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file dating.) 


Delete files or 

FOLDERS 

anytime. 


I_OK_| 

I Cancel I ^ 
HTove 

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Displays ALL 
drives active 
in system. 


A 

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IK. 

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Create a 
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anywhere, 
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Create and 
save file 
extensions to 
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taste^^ 

Find any 
file(s) on 
any drive. 

Movefiles 
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anywhere, 
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Copy files or 
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Rename files 
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hi »24 95 

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Other features: Use Wildcards to find & process files. Hide or unhide files to t id directory clutter. Show or 
not show hidden files. Lock or Unlock single files or groups of files. Reset your computer from the keyboard. 
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Here's what others say: 

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Editor START 

“We found the Universal Item 
Selector to be extremely useful, 
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Entusiasts 

“Your UIS.II has been a fantastic 
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Galveston, TX 


Page 44 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 













WMW/MMA 

Wmdmkii 


W/A / YyY/yy/y A ////m 


//T/N/fv/sf/ 


mmmmmmm 

M’',:>i 


In collaboration with the folks at the General Electric 
Network for Information Exchange (GEnie) Current Notes 
has established an electronic bulletin board for matters 
about Current Notes. Category 15 of the Bulletin Board 
area of the Atari ST roundtable on GEnie has been set aside 
as ‘‘Current Notes Online.” 

We took this step to increase our visibility and so that 
some of our current subscribers all over the US and Canada 
could use their modems to get in touch with us. Of course, 
the ST roundtable is not operated as a charitable institution 
and the folks at GEnie hope that our presence will enhance 
the demand for their service. Everyone will benefit if we 
can generate lively discussions and post lots of files for 
folks to download. 

The list of files posted to date includes a handbook for 
Current Notes subscribers (CNFACTS 1. ARC, File number 
13150) that gives our subscription rates, notes for contribu¬ 
tors, a list of the files in our disk library, and a list of 
dealers who carry our magazine. File number 13130, 
CNCLUB01.ARC, is a list of Current Notes Registered 
CJubsXo help stray Atarians find a user group near them. 

We have also posted a few articles with commentary 
from recent issues. We will also post our cumulative index 
for 1989. This will give you a convenient way to look up 
articles from a wide-ranging list of mataerial. 

We have started several topics, which are the GEnie 
message threads on particular issues. One topic is devoted 
to tables of contents for recent issues. People who are not 
currentl subscribers may find that they want to get hold of 
a particular issue after reviewing this index. Another topic 
is devoted to feedback. Let us know what you like, don’t 
like, and think we ought to cover. 

Current Notes has a reputation for telling it like it is 
and we step on more than a few toes in the process. People 
who feel that their favorite software has been unfairly 
savaged can get our attention by posting messages in the 
feedback topic. People who want to enquire about writing 
for us can send GE-Mail to JOE.WATERS. 

Current Notes does not intend to become an electronic 
magazine like STReport or Z*Mag, so you should not 
expect to find material that replaces the hardcopy magazine 
in the online library or the message threads. Discussions of 
current events in the Atari world are, however, welcome 
since they may provide us with leads into stories that 
should be developed further. 

In a very real sense Current Notes is the leading 
advocate for the common man in the Atari world. Our 
magazine is what you, our readers, make it. The new online 
service is an additional way for you to participate. Enjoy. 



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January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 45 
















CN SPECIAL 


New Initiatives for Developers 


Atari Cites New Program As Developers Form Own Association 
with Heads of Six Top Firms As Directors 


In recent months the Atari com¬ 
munity has seen two new initiatives 
aimed at improving the lot of devel¬ 
opers. The first, announced at the 
WAACE AtariFest, was the formation 
by developers themselves of a new 
Association. The second, announc¬ 
ed at a special party at the Fall 
Comdex in Las Vegas, came from 
Atari Corporation and took the form 
of a new corporate program for 
developer support. 

Atari Association of 
Developers 

According to a press release 
dated October 8th 1989 over 40 
developers met during the WAACE 
AtariFest to lay the groundwork for 
an independent “Atari Association of 
Developers.” The AAD seeks to 
strengthen the developer support 
structure already provided by Atari 
Corporation. “Developer Helping 
Developer” is their motto. 

The temporary board of direc¬ 
tors (see box) was given the task of 
developing a constitution for the 
AAD, a set of membership guide¬ 
lines and qualifications, and a set of 
goals which the association will 
work to achieve. The complete 
details can be obtained by down¬ 
loading file number 12519 entitled 
AAD.INF from the library in the Atari 
ST Roundtable on GEnie. 

AAD is recruiting from all 
registered Atari developers. 

The primary communication 
vehicle appears to be a 
special private category 
within the Atari ST Round¬ 
table on the GEnie online 
service. 


By John Barnes 


The tasks that AAD has set for 
itself include: 

o Development and expansion of 
information which will supple¬ 
ment the published developer’s 
documentation from Atari Cor¬ 
poration to assist developers in 
creating problem free, efficient, 
and complete hardware and 
software products, 
o Assistance and support to 
developers in the marketing, 
distribution, promotion, and 
support of developed hardware 
and software products, 
o Assistance to Atari Corporation 
in the Sales and Marketing of 
Atari products in concert with 
developer products. 

There are two types of members 
in the AAD, these are defined as: 
o AAD Developer: Any devel¬ 
oper who is registered with Atari 
Corporation as a “Registered 
Developer” and is recognized 
as such by Atari Corp. 
o AAD Professional Develop¬ 
er: Any developer who has pro¬ 
ven to have created or is creat¬ 
ing a viable hardware or soft¬ 
ware product for the Atari pro¬ 
duct line, with the intent of 


releasing this product into the 
commercial market. Shareware 
products may qualify on a case 
by case basis. Public Domain 
products do not qualify as com¬ 
mercial products, nor do hard¬ 
ware products which are 
assembled from other develo¬ 
per’s kits or parts. 

A member must first qualify as 
an “AAD Developer” before being 
considered for “AAD Professional 
Developer” membership. 

All development support pro¬ 
vided by the AAD will be provided to 
all “AAD Developers” in concert 
with support currently provided by 
Atari Corp. All “AAD Developers” will 
have access to development sup¬ 
port provided by the AAD. 

Support provided specifically to 
“AAD Professional Developers” will 
include business related assistance 
to help commercial developers bring 
products to market. 

The AAD does not expect to act 
as a clearinghouse for resolving 
disputes between developers and 
Atari Corporation or between con¬ 
sumers and developers. 

As stated previously, the full text 
of AAD’s first press release is avail¬ 
able in a document that can be 
downloaded from GEnie. 

Atari Development 
Partnerships 

The second new initiative 
comes from Atari Corp itself 
in an “Atari Development 
Partner Newsletter” dated 
December 1989. The initial 
announcement was made at 
Comdex, but the newsletter 


Atari Association of Developers 
Temporary Board of Directors 

Gordon Monnier.President of Michtron Corp. 

Nathan Potechin....President of ISD Corp. 

Rich Flashmann.President of Gribnif Software 

John Eidsvoog.Partner in Codehead Software 

George Morrison....President of Alpha Systems 
James Allen.V-President of Fast Technology 


Page 46 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 











appears to have been mailed to all 
currently registered developers. 
Atari regards the new “partnership” 
between themselves and developers 
as a new approach to the way they 
interact with developers. The 
announcement was signed by 
Antonio Salerno, VP Applications. Mr 
Salerno is no longer employed by 
Atari. 

There appear to be six com¬ 
ponents to this initiative: a complete 
listing of all registered Atari owners 
and dealers, a database and soft¬ 
ware demonstration product named 
Softsource, a trial subscription pro¬ 
gram with ST magazines, a new 
person to handle the program within 
the corporation, re-registration as 
an Atari developer under new 
ground rules, and access to deve¬ 
lopment equipment at a 50 percent 
discount from retail. 

Developers must complete the 
re-registration procedures in order 
to participate in this program. The 
program seems to restrict developer 
status to people who either are 
already shipping software products 
or who expect to ship them in the 
future. It marks a departure from the 
previous situation in which one 
became an Atari developer by 
simply plunking down the money for 
a “Developers’ Kit” and signing a 
non-disclosure agreement. Under 
the new scheme, registration must 
be renewed annually. 

The person whom Atari has 
hired to implement the new partner¬ 
ship is Charles Cherry, previously 
the product manager for Antic. 
Charles states that he is where he is 
because “Atari is finally ready to 
provide serious help to developers.” 

Mr. Cherry identifies three criti¬ 
cal problems for a developer: Sales, 
Education, and Visibility. 

Mr. Cherry treats sales as a 
matter of identifying customers for 
products, hence the effort to pro¬ 
vide an Atari Customer mailing list. 
The list of all registered Atari owners 
will be available to all Atari Develop¬ 
ment Partners and it will be updated 
monthly in a form that allows the 
developer to construct a database 


for making direct mailings to these 
potential customers. 

Education is identified as the 
problem of helping naive owners to 
realize the potential of their 
machines. The vehicle for this will 
be the free subscription offers to all 
new Atari computer customers. The 
magazine publishers will be able to 
obtain the customer database for 
use in mailing out three free issues 
of their magazines to new buyers. 
The content of these magazines will 
presumably give these new purcha¬ 
sers a feel for the potential in the 
“computer appliances” that they 
have bought. 

Registration is a matter that 
rests with the purchasers of the 
machines and the offer of free 
magazine subscriptions will 
encourage them to register. 

The new program encourages 
developers to enhance their visibility 
by working through a new tool to be 
called Atari Softsource, a complete 
index to all Atari software and hard¬ 
ware products. Developers are to 
provide disabled copies of software 
and self-running demonstration 
programs to be put on CD-ROMs in 
dealer showrooms and into online 
libraries. Developers are also to 
provide three working copies of their 
products to Atari. 

What Does It All Mean? 

There is no doubt that Atari has 
done poorly by its developers in the 
past. On the surface these new 
initiatives seem eminently reason¬ 
able. Do they really promise a rosy 
future? 

The one thing that developers 
would like to see more than any¬ 
thing else is an aggressive effort on 
Atari’s part to market its machines. 
Efforts to market the Portfolio or 
Lynx products do not count 
because they are irrelevant to the 
current people who develop Atari 
software and hardware. 

Add-ons can only be sold if 
there are enough Atari computers 
out there to make it worthwhile to 
develop products for them. In this 
case, the egg clearly comes ahead 


of the chicken. All of the other 
initiatives are pure empty gestures 
unless Atari puts its own resources 
into an all-out effort to put Atari 
computers into the hands of people 
who can use them. 

Charles Cherry provides a clue 
to Atari’s thinking when he refers to 
purchasers of “computer 
appliances.” What kind of appliance 
is it? A vacuum cleaner? A toaster? 
A dishwasher? The computer- 
appliance is a piece of wishful 
thinking on Atari’s part. When the 
Tramiel clan introduced the ST, they 
made a conscious decision to com¬ 
pete on the basis of price alone. 
This meant that the monies to sup¬ 
port extensive advertising and 
developer assistance were nowhere 
to be found. 

Unfortunately, this decision has 
not withstood the test of time. 
People who have computers in their 
homes have them because they 
want to do something useful with 
them. The millions of copies of 
MS-DOS software products bear 
witness to their sophistication. If the 
computer-appliance resembles 
anything, it is a Cuisinart, which 
needs lots of attachments and train¬ 
ing to make it perform. 

Advice to Atari: Forget about 
computer-appliances and focus on 
computers. IBM, Apple, Com¬ 
modore, Compaq, and a host of 
other people who know about com¬ 
puters are saturating the market 
while those who hawk “computer- 
appliances” (toys, actually) sit on 
their hands wondering why nobody 
buys. 

The new partnership that Atari 
has with its developers is like the old 
one in that there is very little of 
Atari’s money tied up in it. Direct 
mail, which seems to be the mar¬ 
keting tool that Atari is promoting, 
costs an enormous amount of 
money for a very small return. The 
developers themselves will bear this 
cost. Mailings to 2,000 new potential 
customers each month would eat up 
the profit from an awful lot of 
software sales. Attempts to reach 
the entire installed base by direct 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 47 



mail would bankrupt most Atari 
developers in a hurry. This is why 
most developers are content to get 
their products out for review in 
magazines and to advertise to 
audiences that are at least inter¬ 
ested enough to buy the magazines. 

A little arithmetic is all that is 
needed to demonstrate that free 
subscriptions to magazines will not 
be a big success either. Production 
and postage costs for mailing three 
issues of a magazine will eat up 
anywhere between $3 and $8. Mul¬ 
tiply this by 24,000 new buyers in 
the course of a year (a skimpy 
number, which will do little to 
enhance Atari’s financial prospects) 
and you come up with between 
$72,000 and $192,000—a huge 
chunk of the cash flow of any 
publication. 

Atari Softsource is a program 
whereby CD-ROMs containing 
demo versions or self-running ani¬ 
mated descriptions of software are 
placed in dealer showrooms to give 
a potential buyer the look and feel 
of new products before deciding to 
buy them. This looks like a scheme 
to move part of Atari’s warehouse 
full of CD-ROMs without having to 
worry about developing too much 
software for them. It would certainly 
be nice to truck off to the nearest 
Atari dealer (assuming there is one 
nearby) and get a nice demo of any 
product that was intriguing. Most 
developers, however, have enough 
trouble making software that works 
and most users by now have 
enough experience to know that the 
only demo worth looking at is the 
final product. 

Atari has alienated a number of 
developers by their demands for 
copies of products. The letters 
requesting this have been couched 
in a tone that seems guaranteed to 
minimize cooperation. The basic 
idea is a good one. Someone at 
Atari should know what is out there 
and should have it available for 
testing when someone comes up 
with bright ideas for a new TOS. 
Perhaps Atari could help the deve¬ 
lopers by purchasing this material. 


Atari once had an “official” list¬ 
ing of products both online and in 
book form. This was allowed to 
lapse, but it should be revived, at 
least in the online form. 

People who bought the original 
Developers’ Kit from Atari were 
deeply disappointed in the product 
after it arrived. The main ingredients 
were a C compiler of dubious value, 
a very primitive Resource Construc¬ 
tion set, and volumes of poorly 
reproduced GEM documentation 
from Digital Research. This has 
since been supplemented by 
material from Abacus, Sybex, and 
various compiler publishers. The C 
compiler has been upgraded. Con¬ 
tributions from Atari personnel have 
also been important, but many 
developers have found that extract¬ 
ing this material is frustrating and 
programmers who are not registered 
developers have found it nearly 
impossible to get help. 

Self-help for Developers 

Given the absence of resources 
from Atari Corporation it is important 
that the members of the developer 
community unite to help themselves 
by helping each other. The Atari 
Association of Developers can be 
viewed as an effort in this direction, 
and its initial goals are certainly 
laudable. 

The initial effort, however, is 
simply not ambitious enough. The 
emphasis on communications 
through GEnie is one example. 
GEnie has no presence in Europe at 
all, yet the development effort in 
Europe is said to far outweigh that 
in the US and Canada. Even within 
North America there are many loca¬ 
tions where GEnie access is pro¬ 
hibitively expensive. 

AAD’s emphasis on serving the 
registered Atari developer com¬ 
munity is a second example of 
insufficient ambition, although it is 
probably essential to obtaining even 
minimal cooperation from Atari. 
There are many sophisticated users 
who could benefit from a knowledge 
of AAD’s activities even if they have 
no need for proprietary information. 


It is obvious that the AAD must 
broaden its scope if it is to have any 
impact at all. They need to field 
teams on the worldwide networks 
like InterNet and Usenet and they 
need to develop means of com¬ 
municating with people who are not 
online at all. They need to be far 
more outgoing about their progress 
and goals and they need to demon¬ 
strate receptiveness to suggestions. 

It is unfortunate that a number 
of important software houses take 
the position that they either cannot 
or will not spend their own money to 
help someone else. This is a very 
practical decision even if it seems 
shortsighted. Improved sharing of 
knowledge within the Atari develop¬ 
ment community is needed to nur¬ 
ture new programmers and to iron 
the kinks out of the products that 
are there already. 

What About the User 

Both the AAD and Atari Cor¬ 
poration appear to view users as a 
separate species that rank some¬ 
where below developers on the 
evolutionary scale. Users would be 
too ignorant to make use of any 
assistance that would be proffered 
to them, so there is no need to 
bother. 

This view is probably reinforced 
by long hours spent on telephones 
and BBS’s answering questions that 
should not have arisen if the pro¬ 
grams had been well done or if the 
documentation had been well writ¬ 
ten. There is no such thing as a 
“dumb question.” There is also a 
law somewhere that says that a 
certain percentage of customers 
never will be satisfied and that 
handling them is one of the burdens 
that comes with taking the public’s 
money. 

Regardless of how they behave, 
these people are customers and 
they are the ones who determine 
the success or failure of a product. 
If they don’t need it they won’t buy 
it. If it breaks on them they will be 
angry. If their computer-appliances 
fail them they will consign them to 


Page 48 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 



the junk heap. These people are the 
market and any effort to deal with 
the marketplace must take their 
needs into account. 

User groups are one segment of 
the marketplace that cares enough 
to put forth some effort on its own 
behalf and they would seem to be a 
good target for focussed effort by 
Atari Corporation and AAD. Atari 
should revitalize its user group liai¬ 
son activities by providing up to 
date information on groups and their 
locations. Regular mailings of sani¬ 
tized versions of the Developer 
Partner newsletter would be a good 
way to let these people know that 
something is happening. The AAD 
should also make special mailings 
describing their activities and 
recruitment efforts. The AAD could 
provide assistance on developer 
participation in shows and the user 
groups would be a natural vehicle 
for distributing marketing and train¬ 


ing information on developer pro¬ 
ducts. 

Why All the Secrecy? 

Both Atari and the AAD seem to 
feel that they have secrets that are 
worth stealing. Of course, there is a 
need for some level of confidentia¬ 
lity with regard to products that are 
still under development and there 
are laws to protect copyrighted and 
patented material. 

In all other matters, however, 
openness should be a key goal. The 
informed consumer is a more willing 
buyer. The press release from AAD 
seems to indicate that they are 
setting up something akin to a 
college fraternity or a masonic 
lodge, with secret handshakes and 
all of the attendant paraphernalia. 

They really should reach out to 
the public, perhaps through an open 
category that supplements their 
closed one on GEnie or through 


regular contributions to the Atari 
press. The whole community wishes 
them well, but the silence since 
October has been deafening. 

Has the Horse Already Left 
the Barn? 

There is a good chance that 
Atari and the AAD have awakened to 
their plight too late. Closed dealer¬ 
ships, reduced user group member¬ 
ships, and slow sales are ail clues 
that customers are standing back 
from the marketplace if they have 
not, in fact, already deserted it. 

The stalls in the barn need 
some fresh, juicy fodder in them if 
the horses are to be lured back. The 
consumer needs to see clear signs 
of vigor in the marketplace. A highly 
visible, strongly active, partnership 
between Atari and its developers 
might be enough of a sign to attract 
attention for a short while. 



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January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 49 







When it comes to public domain 
or shareware software, I am often 
left feeling like a small child who 
stands drooling before a glass 
candy counter. As a boy, I can 
remember agonizing over what 
candies to buy, and which ones to 
leave for another day. I have had as 
much trouble coming to a decision 
as far as what to discuss for this 
month’s column. 

After a good measure of fretting 
and pacing, I thought I would sift 
through a number of graphic utility 
programs. Commercial and share¬ 
ware paint programs abound, and 
desktop publishing is a very popular 
application for the ST. Graphic utility 
programs are frequently lifesavers. 
They make using these other pro¬ 
grams much easier. 

It is not hard to find graphic 
utilities. In fact, Current Notes has 
dedicated two disks to just these 
types of applications. Disk #254 and 
#352 include utilities for just about 
every occasion. They include picture 
conversion programs, snapshot 
programs, picture viewing programs, 
and even a paint accessory program 
for editing paint files stored in 
Gem’s .img format. 

Disk #254 is a treasure chest 
full of goodies. Chief among them is 
PicSwitch. 

PicSwitch 0.7 
Written by John Brochu 

Advanced Software, 21 Northend 
Street, Peabody, MA 01960. 

PicSwitch is distributed as 
shareware. It is the first utility pro¬ 
gram I discovered long ago, and I 
continue to find it quite useful today. 
The program allows you to load 
pictures which have been created 
on other computers and convert the 


PUBLIC 

DOMAIN 

POTPOURRI 


picture files to Degas or Neochrome 
formats, which are standards for the 
ST. 

According to Mr. Brochu, Pic¬ 
Switch was originally written as a 
simple picture viewer for Amiga IFF 
paint files. In its later incarnations, 
the program was expanded to sup¬ 
port monochrome monitors. It was 
also modified to read many more 
picture formats which it then con¬ 
verts to Degas, Degas Elite or 
Neochrome formats. PicSwitch can 
convert pictures from one resolution 
to another. It can also be used to 
print pictures. 

I like the program’s ease of use. 
Once you initiate the program, it 
presents a GEM file selector box. 
You select the picture file you want 
to view, and it draws it to the 
screen. If you attempt to load a 
picture format which is not suppor¬ 
ted, you are given that message. 
You are also presented with a listing 
of formats which are supported. 
Among the many which are suppor¬ 
ted are: Amiga IFF, MacPaint, CIS 
Vidtex hi-res RLE, and Atari Koala. 

PicSwitch has enabled me to 
easily convert a wealth of MacPaint 
clip art to Degas. I recommend it as 
a useful, no fuss program. 

DegaMac 

Written by Frank Stewart 

DegaMac is another simple yet 
useful picture conversion program. 
As the name suggests, it converts 
Degas pictures to MacPaint format. 
It also converts in the other direction 
as well. This program has let me 
boast that I can use Degas Elite on 
my ST at home to develop clip art 
for use on the company’s Macin¬ 
tosh. The program presents a GEM 
dialogue box which prompts you for 


Shareware 

Sampler 


By Brian Miller 

the type of picture you wish to 
convert. You are presented with 
another dialogue box which gives 
you the options available for saving 
your picture. It can even rotate the 
picture 90 degrees. I did encounter 
one problem. It failed to recognize 
several MacPaint files, which I was 
able to load as MacPaint and con¬ 
vert with PicSwitch. 

DEGASAVE 

Written by Jeff Seibert 

Have you ever wondered how 
the action screen from your favorite 
game winds up on the pages of 
Current Notes ox some other maga¬ 
zine? Well, screen saving programs, 
like DEGASAVE, can make this feat 
possible. Once you have activated 
DEGASAVE, you can “capture” a 
screen by pressing the Alt key and 
Help key. The screen momentarily 
freezes and your disk drive grinds. 
The game or whatever program you 
loaded after activating DEGASAVE 
resumes. When you finally quit, you 
will see that the screen shots were 
saved as SCREEN#.PI Degas files. 

This program is particularly use¬ 
ful for screen shots of games or 
programs that don’t use the GEM 
menu bar. One limitation I have 
found when using DEGASAVE is 
that it does not appear to work with 
games which load automatically. 

I have covered only a fraction of 
the programs contained on this Uti¬ 
lity Disk. I have concentrated on 
those programs which I have had 
some direct experience in using. 
You should know the disk also in¬ 
cludes programs to convert pictures 
to and from Spectrum format. It also 
contains utilities to convert Print 
Shop to Print Master pictures, and 
from Print Master to Degas. 


Page 50 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 




Current Notes disk #352 in the 
CN Library features graphic utilities 
of more recent vintage. It would go 
a long way to round out your 
graphic toolbox. 

It includes a slideshow written 
by Charles F. Johnson called Art 
Gallery. John Brochu, author of 
PicSwitch, presents his new offer¬ 
ing, Deluxe Slideshow. Both pro¬ 
grams are capable of displaying 
slides saved in a number of popular 
formats. 

The disk also includes a Snap¬ 
shot Accessory program. If you want 
to capture a screen where the GEM 
menu bar is present, the Snap- 
shot.ACC program will do the job 
easily. You merely select the pro¬ 
gram under the Desk option. You 
choose the format you wish to save 
your snapshot in. You then rubber 
band the section of the screen you 
want to capture. The screen turns 
black for an instant as the snapshot 
is taken, and then you are presen¬ 
ted with the File Selector Box to 


name your photo. This is really a 
painless method so long as you 
happen to be using a GEM program. 

Image Editor DA V0.65 

Written by Mike Bergman 

I must admit that it was for 
Image Editor that I added this utility 
disk to my library. I own Easy Draw 
and have been frustrated that the 
package does not include an effec¬ 
tive way to edit pictures stored in 
the .img format. Migraph’s Super¬ 
charger program is useful, and 
works to a limited extent. I have 
wanted a program which would edit 
the paint file directly. While I could 
spend big dollars to buy Migraph’s 
Touch Up, I really felt a simpler 
alternative would do as well. 

/mage Editor, may fill this need. 
He distributes this accessory pro¬ 
gram as Shareware, and employs an 
effective marketing strategy. The 
program is fully functional with the 
exception of the .Save function. You 
need to send the requisite regis¬ 


tration fee to obtain your fully func¬ 
tional program. 

Image Editor will only work with 
high resolution on monochrome 
monitors. You run the program as 
you would any desk accessory. The 
function keys are used to select 
different brush types and other 
options. 

A full-fledged paint program 
may be preferable for making art¬ 
work from scratch. However, for 
editing image paint files which have 
already been created, /mage Editor 
would be hard to beat. 

I hope this gives you a sampling 
of utilities which are easily available. 
It is by no means complete. 

Remember to reward public 
domain and shareware developers 
for their efforts. Feel free to pass 
along useful programs which you 
would like to see receive deserved 
attention, c/o: Brian Miller 13848 
Delaney Road Woodbridge, VA 
22193. 


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January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 51 









All four programs use a MOD function and come 
from a COMPUTE! IBM program which was also 
translated for the ST later. I never got around to using 
MOD in Turbo Basic so here I used COMPUTE’S 
suggestions to turn it into Atari BASIC. I also added 
color cycling to MOD3. Press START to change the 
direction of the color cycling. MODMOD is a modified 
version of one cell of MOD3 which was enlarged, more 
sides were added, and color cycling too. 

MODI 

A series of multi-colored triangles formed one at a 
time until a giant triangle is made. 

3 REM IBM TRANSLATION: COMPUTE 

4 REM MOD FUNCTION 

5 DIM X(3),Y(3),XD(3),YD(3) 

10 W=0.1:W1=1-W:XSCALE=1:YSCALE=0.99: 
H=2:VRES=166:SfflFT=2:II=l 
15 GRAPHICS 31:SETCOLOR 0,15,6:SETCOLO 
R 2,4,2:SETCOLOR l,8,4:SETCOLOR 4,0,0 
20 FOR J=0 TO 3:H=-II:JJ=l:FOR 1=0 TO 
6:JJ=-JJ:IF I<J OR I>6-J THEN 110 
30 IF J<2 OR I>2 THEN C=C-INT(C/3)*3+l 
40 IF J=3 THEN C=C-INT(C/3)*3+l 
50 X(1)=0:X(2)=39:X(3)=78:Y(1)=0:Y(3)=0 
52 IF H=JJ THEN Y(2)=48:GOTO 60 
55 Y(2)=-48 

60 FOR N=1 TO 11:X1=3+X(3)+I*39:Y1=VRE 

S-Y(3)-J*48+II*JJ*24:X 1=X 1*XSCALE+SH- 

IFT:Y1=Y1*YSCALE+SHIFT 

70 FOR M=1 TO 3:X2=3+X(M)+I*39:Y2=VRES 

-Y(M)-J*48+II*JJ*24:C=C-INT(C/3)*3+l:- 

X2=X2*XSCALE+SHIFT:Y2=Y2*YSCALE+SHIFT 

80 PLOT Xl/H,Yl:COLOR CDRAWTO XI/ 

H,Yl:DRAWTO X2/H,Y2:Xl=X2:Yl=Y2:NJ=M-INT(M/3)*3+l 

90 XD(M)=W1*X(M)+W*X(NJ):YD(M)=W1*Y(M)+ 

W*Y(NJ):NEXT M 

100 FOR P=1 TO 3:X(P)=XD(P):Y(P)=YD(P) 

:NEXT P:NEXT N 


110 NEXT I:NEXT J 
120 GOTO 120 


For Atari XL/Xl 
C omputers 


i 


M0D2 

Instead of triangles, this program creates green 
and violet filled boxes. 

3 REM IBM TRANSLATION: COMPUTE 

4 REM MOD FUNCTION 

5 DIM X(4),Y(4),XD(4),YD(4) 

10 W=0.12:W1=1-W:II=1:XSCALE=1.11:YSC 

ALE=0.976:H=2:SHIFT=-14 

15 GRAPHICS 31:SETCOLOR 0,11,4:SETCOLOR 

2,5,6:SETCOLOR l,7,4:SETCOLOR 4,0,0 

20 FOR 1=0 TO 3:FOR J=0 TO 3:IF (I-INT(I/ 

2)*2+l)=(J-INT(J/2)*2+l) THEN 40 

30 Y(1)=49:Y(2)=0:Y(3)=0:Y(4)=49:GOTO 50 

40 Y(1)=0:Y(2)=49:Y(3)=49:Y(4)=0 

50 X(1)=20:X(2)=20:X(3)=89:X(4)=89 

60 FOR N=0 TO 18:X1=X(4)+I*69:Y1=Y(4)+ 

J*49:X1=X1*XSCALE+SHIFT:Y1=Y1*YSCALE 

70 FOR M=1 TO 4:X2=X(M)+I*69:Y2=Y(M)+J 

*49:X2=X2*XSCALE+SHIFT:Y2=Y2*YSCALE 

80 COLOR M-INT(M/2)*2+1 :PLOT X1/H,Y1:D 

RAWTO X2/H,Y2:Xl=X2:Yl=Y2:NJ=M-INT(M/4)*4+l 

90 XD(M)=W1*X(M)+W*X(NJ):YD(M)=W1*Y(M) 

+W*Y(NJ):NEXT M 

100 FOR P=1 TO 4:X(P)=XD(P):Y(P)=YD(P) 

:NEXT P:NEXT N:NEXT J:NEXT I 

no goto no 


M0D3 

Multi-colored hexagons appear in this variation. 

3 REM IBM TRANSLATION: COMPUTE 

4 REM MOD FUNCTION 

5 DIM X(6),Y(6),XD(6),YD(6) 

10 W=0.2:Wl=l-W:n=l:XSCALE=1.2:YSCAL 

E=1.02:H=2:VRES=218:SHIFT=-35 

15 GRAPHICS 31:SETCOLOR 0,1,6:SETCOLOR 

2,5,6:SETCOLOR l,8,4:POKE 712,0 

20 FOR J=0 TO 2:FOR 1=0 TO 2:IF J=0 AN 

D Iol THEN 110 

30 E=31*(I=1) 

40 X(1)=0:X(2)=25:X(3)=75:X(4)=100:X(5)=75:X(6)=25 
50 Y(1)=31:Y(2)=0:Y(3)=0:Y(4)=31:Y(5)=62:Y(6)=62 
60 FOR N=0 TO 28:X1=35+X(6)+I*75:Y1=VRES- 
Y(6)-J*62-E:Xl=Xl*XSCALE+SHIFT:Yl=YnYSCALE 
70 FOR M=1 TO 6:X2=35+X(M)+I*75:Y2=VRE 


Page 52 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 


S-Y(M)-J*62-E:X2=X2*XSCALE+SHIFT:Y2=Y2*YSCALE 
80 COLOR M-INT(M/3)*3+l:PLOT X1/H,Y1:D 
RAWTO X2/H,Y2:Xl=X2:Yl=Y2:NJ=M-INT(M/6)*6+l 
90 XD(M)=W1*X(M)+W*X(NJ):YD(M)=W1*Y(M) 
+W*Y(NJ):NEXT M 

100 FOR P=1 TO 6:X(P)=XD(P):Y(P)=YD(P) 

:NEXT P:NEXT N 
110 NEXT I:NEXT J 

120 TEMP=PEEK(710):POKE 710,PEEK(709): 

POKE 709,PEEK(708):POKE 708,TEMP 
130 FOR S=1 TO 48:NEXT S 
140 IF PEEK(53279)=6 THEN 170 
150 GOTO 120 

160 TEMP=PEEK(708):POKE 708,PEEK(709): 

POKE 709,PEEK(710):POKE 710,TEMP 
170 FOR S=1 TO 40:NEXT S 
180 IF PEEK(53279)=6 THEN 130 
190 GOTO 160 


MODMOD 

A many-colored spiral is formed. 

3 REM MOD-MOD 

4 REM MOD FUNCTION 

5 DIM X(12),Y(12),XD(12),YD(12) 

10 W=0.16:W1=1-W:XSCALE=3.8:YSCALE=2. 
96:H=1.3:VRES=64:SHIFT=10:SPEED=32 
15 GRAPHICS 31:SETCOLOR 0,1,6:SETCOLOR 
2,4,2:SETCOLORl,3,4:SETCOLOR 4,0,0 
40 X(1)=0:X(2)=5:X(3)=20:X(4)=30:X(5)=45:X(6)=50: 
X(7)=50:X(8)=45:X(9)=30:X(10)=20:X(11)=5:X(12)=0 
50 Y(1)=26:Y(2)=10:Y(3)=0:Y(4)=0:Y(5)=10:Y(6)=26:Y(7)=39: 
Y(8)=55:Y(9)=64:Y(10)=64:Y(11)=55:Y(12)=39 
60 FOR N=0 TO 120:X1=X(12):Y1=VRES- 
Y(12):X1=X1*XSCALE+SHIFT:Y1=Y1*YSCALE 
70 FOR M=1 TO 12:X2=X(M):Y2=VRES- 
Y(M):X2=X2*XSCALE+SHIFT:Y2=Y2*YSCALE 
80 COLOR M-INT(M/3)*3+l:PLOT X1/H,Y1:D 
RAWTO X2/H,Y2:X1=X2:Y1=Y2:NJ=M-INT(M/12)*12+1 
90 XD(M)=W1*X(M)+W*X(NJ):YD(M)=W1*Y(M) 
+W*Y(NJ):NEXT M 

100 FOR P=1 TO 12:X(P)=XD(P):Y(P)=YD(P 
):NEXT P:NEXT N 

120 TEMP=PEEK(708):POKE 708,PEEK(709): 

POKE 709,PEEK(710):POKE 710,TEMP 
130 FOR S=1 TO SPEED:NEXT S 
140 CK=1-CK:IF CK THEN POKE 53279,CK 
150 GOTO 120 


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Our selection includes US. products as 
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Many developers release their products 
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3404 Pawnee Drive, Alexandria MN 56308 
Toll-Free 1-800-322-4405 



CYl// 



January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 53 




Atari ST/Mega 


CN Review 


Geography Tutor 

Your Electronic World Atlas 

Full Maps and Statistical Data Bases 
Re vie w by BUI Moes 


.There are a couple of ways I 
could begin this review. 

Sure, I could moan about the 
shortage of learning software for 
the ST. But, while there is not a 
great quantity, the quality is fairly 
decent. 

Or I could remind you of news 
stories that have pointed out how 
poorly American students do when 
asked fairly basic questions on 
world geography. But, as a profes¬ 
sional educator, I have serious 
disagreements with the reports 
written by some of those headline- 
hungry hustlers. 

So, let’s begin this positive 
way: Geography Tutor is a new 
learning software program for the 
Atari ST. It should appeal to a very 
wide range of students. It does 
what it claims to do, and it does 
the job well. 

A Simple Little System 

The mouse-driven program is 
easily used and clear in its presen¬ 
tation. Select a continent for study. 
The choices offered: whole world, 
Europe, Africa, North or South 
America, and the provinces and 
states of the U.S.A. and Canada. 
You’ll note that certain regions are 
not specifically listed. They’re 
available on a supplemental disk, 
described below. 

At any time during the session, 
it’s possible to select a new con¬ 
tinent, take a look at the world 
map, adjust the colors (on a color 
monitor, of course), or choose to 
turn on/off the playing of national 
anthems of some countries. Not all 
countries have their anthems avail¬ 
able on this standard disk. Yes, 


another supplemental disk is avail¬ 
able. 


OPTIONS 


Hem Continent 
World Map 
New Colours 
i National Rnthen 


Once that initial selection is 
made, the learning begins. Select 
“Identify Regions” from the GEM 
menus and you’re shown a map of 
the continent. Click on a region. It’s 
shaded and identified. Click with 
the right mouse button and you’ll 
see a screen of information on that 
country, 20 or so items. Click with 
the left button and you’ll be able to 
select another country to identify. 
Both buttons return you to the main 
menu screen. It’s all simple, direct, 
effective. 


You may find yourself learning 
more than you had planned. The 
USA/Canada section, for example, 
will have you checking through 
some of the lesser-known Arctic 
islands as well as the major states/ 


Identify Regions 
Country Quiz 
Capitals Quiz 


provinces. 

Just in Time 

Think you’ve got it all down? 
Ready for a quiz? It’s possible to 
be quizzed on either countries or 
capitals. Let’s choose country. One 
is named near the bottom of the 
screen. Click on the correct region. 
It flashes “yes” and your score is 
adjusted. A mistake? The one you 
chose is named, your score is 
adjusted, and you’re asked to try 
again. Three attempts are offered, 
then the correct country is flashed 
and named. 

If you want some help, press 
the right button. The correct 
answer is flashed and identified. 
Then you’ll still need to identify that 
country. No score changes are 


THIS IS HHHT I KHBH HBBBT HICBHBBBB 


- 

POPULATION (000.8001 

LAND AREA €800 NA.l 

NICARAGUA 

3.49 

11875 

CAPITAL 

X GROUTH POPULATION 

CULTIVATED AREA COOO HA1 

MANAGUA 

2.2 

151G 

NAIN LANGUAGES 

X LESS THAN 13 YEARS OLD 

CATTLE HEAD COOO OOOl 

SPANISH 

48 

2.3 

NAIN RELIGIONS 

BIRTH RATE (per OOO) 

CALORIES (X of neodl 

CHRISTIAN CATHOLIC 

47 

109 

NOTE 1 

DEATH RATE (per 0001 

PERSONS PER DOCTOR 


12 

1800 

NOTE 2 

LIFE EXPECTANCY Olenl 

X LITERACY Olenl 


57 : 

58 

NOTE 3 

LIFE EXPECTANCY (Mortenl 

X LITERACY (MartenJ 


54 

57 

NOTE 4 

GNP PER CAPITA CSUS1 

DEFENSE ASCXl OF GNP 


792 ; 

35 


l«»USE^<^^»y»IILS<«>=«l|llSE»IIC*<^R>=l1EI|»I 

Data screen (Nicaragua) showing 20 data items plus space for four Notes. 


Page 54 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 



CN Review 


Atari ST/Mega 


made if you’ve asked for help. The 
scoring process is simple but suffi¬ 
cient. The numbers right and wrong 
are shown, along with the percent 
correct. 

After you’ve selected the cor¬ 
rect country, clicking the right but¬ 
ton will screen that database con¬ 
taining the 20 pieces of information 
for that country. 

This information can include: 
birthrate, deathrate, life expectancy 
(men/women), GNP per capita, 
area, cultivated area, persons per 
doctor, percent literacy (men/ 
women), and more. 

If you go after the capitals quiz, 
the procedure is similar. This pro¬ 
gram makes excellent use of both 
mouse buttons and is structured 
with sound educational principles. 


COMPARE 


The Largest... 

The Snallest... 

Search Data 

Conpare One Country to All 
Conpare All Countries 

Hello, Hello There! 

A major strength of the pro¬ 
gram is the database of information 
on each country. With the numeri¬ 
cal information, it’s possible to 
compare countries based on the 
largest or smallest for the titles 
from that database. 

For example, select “The 
Smallest,” then click on literacy 
rate. The country with the lowest 
literacy rate on that map will be 
identified. 

It’s possible to “Search Data,” 
setting up your own cut-off point. 
Maybe you’ll be after a list of 
countries with a male literacy rate 
of less than 50 percent. Those 
countries will be identified and 
listed. 

Compare one country to all 
countries in a region with any one 
of the items in the database. Using 
our example of literacy rate, select 
one country. Countries with a 


greater literacy rate will be shaded, 
those with a lower literacy rate will 
have a different shading. 

All countries in a region, or 
continent, can be compared for 
any one of the items in the data¬ 
base. Select the item. The coun¬ 
tries will be shaded and keyed for 


CREATE 


New Data 
New Titles 

New Haps _ 

that item. Then a list of the coun¬ 
tries, either alphabetically or by 
size of the item, can be displayed 
on the screen. 

In this world where more is 
never enough, it’s possible to enter 
new, updated, numbers for any 
item in the database. And it’s 
possible to create new titles for 
items, completely redoing the 
entire database with information 
that may be more helpful to each 
individual user. Then these 
changes may be loaded separately 
or may permanently replace the 
supplied information. 

Obviously, this offers fine flexi¬ 
bility in learning software. 


There are four boxes in the 
database titled “Note.” You can fill 
these with your own information. 
Or you can load a Degas (com¬ 
pressed) screen as the Note. That 
Degas screen can, obviously, in¬ 
clude illustrations and/or text. 

Does all of this sound interest¬ 
ing? Maybe a closer look would be 
helpful. Try the demo disk: CN ST 
Library disk 384. Geography Tutor 
runs in color (medium resolution) 
or monochrome. 

Drop That Name 

Geography Tutor ($39.95) 
covers a lot, but not everything. 
Supplemental disks are available. A 
disk of maps and data for the 
Middle East, eastern Asia, islands 
in the western Pacific, and pro¬ 
vinces of France and Spain is 
offered ($15). A second supple¬ 
mental disk containing the national 
anthem of every country in the 
world can also be ordered ($20). 

The most exciting supplemen¬ 
tal disk is a construction set ($30). 
Using your own Degas-format 
map, this construction set allows 
you to create your own map/data 
base. The publisher of Geography 
Tutor will then list your product in 
its annual bulletin. 



January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 55 



































Atari ST/Mega 


Incidentally, the maps in Geography Tutor were 
created with Antic Software’s Maps and Legends, 
another excellent product for geography students. 

Students in 5th grade learn the U.S. states and 
capitals. This program will help. Students in 6th grade 
usually learn world countries and capitals. Again, help 
here. Students in junior high and high school need to 
know additional details on many countries in the 
world. Right here. And beginning college students 
often are asked to take a basic geography course. 
Again, Geography TutorXo the rescue. 

Few computer learning programs can so effec¬ 
tively cover such a wide range of students. With a 
snapshot accessory, maps created could be included 
in school reports. High schools sometimes compete in 
academic challenges where geography questions are 
popular. Example: What country is located between 
Somalia and Sudan? Geography Tutor could be a 
great aid to students reviewing this type of informa¬ 
tion. (...it’s Ethiopia.) 

The documentation is a 20-page booklet that 
clearly explains the features of the software and 
carefully guides you through the program. The single¬ 
sided disk is not copy-protected, although a serial 
number must sometimes be entered when beginning 
the program. 


The Party’s Over 

So, with Geography Tutor we have an extremely 
well-designed program that offers help to students 
from 5th grade through college. It’s easily used and, 
with the supplemental disks available, amazingly 
open-ended. 

We’ll not whine about the lack of ST software. 
We’ll not listen to the self-serving critics. 

We’ll take a look at Geography Tutor and know 
we’ve got a winner! I was most impressed. 

[ASDE Inc., Geographie, 151 rue Jolicoeur, Hull, 
Quebec, Canada J8Z1C8J 


COUNT 

ANGOLA 

E s1^7eoh 

NIGER 

SOMALIA 

CHAD 

MAURITANIA 
BURKINA FAS 
MALI REPUPB 
GABON 

gFGHgrusrAN 

GAMBIA 

c*!n§8 uti 

SAUDI ARABI 
UNITED ARAB 

NEPAL 


PAPUA NEM G 

BURUNDI 

PAKISTAN 

MADAGASCAR 

MOROCCO 



3 iraHI 

TTT 

8 

1 INDIA 

56 

10 

Iegvpt 

56 

10 

ISOUTH AFRIC 

57 

10 

Inicaragua 

58 

12 

IUORV COAST 

58 

14 

LESOTHO 

58 

16 

CENTRAL AFR 

59 

17 

GUATEMALA 

59 

18 

ALGERIA 

60 

19 

TUNISIA 

bl 

22 

CAMBODIA 

62 

26 

RUANDA 

62 

27 

27 

CAMEROUN 

SUAZILAND 

64 

64 

30 

KENYA 

64 

30 

UGANDA 

64 

30 

HONDURAS 

64 

30 

SURINAME 

68 

31 

IRAQ 

68 

33 

BOTSUANA 

69 

34 

KUUEIT 

70 

38 

EL SALVADOR 

70 

39 

SYRIA 

74 

39 

BRAZIL 

75 

39 

DOMINICAN R 

75 

41 

JORDAN 

76 

41 

LIBYA 

77 


Upper left hand corner of screen showing worldwide literacy rates. 


GEOGRAPHY TUTOR v2.5 


THE UORLD 


HOLLUCIPE PRPJCCTIOH 



This program provides ATARI ST owners with an electronic atlas of the 
world. You can learn about all the countries in the world. Not only are there 
maps available, but there is also a full data base of useful facts concerning 
each country. There are 20 items of standard information from the United 
Nations office of statistics 


You can have access to maps and databases of: 

THE WORLD NORTH AMERICA 

SOUTH AMERICA EUROPE 

AFRICA STATES and PROVINCES OF N.A 


You will find facts on such things as: 
MAJOR RELIGIONS 
NAME OF CAPITAL 
GROWTH RATE POPULATION 
DOCTORS PER CAPITA 
LAND BASE 

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION 
MILITARY SPENDING 


MAJOR LANGUAGES 
POPULATION 
LIFE EXPECTANCY 
LITERACY RATES 
CROP LAND 
GNP 

EDUCATION SPENDING. 


There is a special data base for each of the 50 US states. It has 
information on education, health and other social expenditures as well as 
many other statistics from the 1989 publication of the US Bureau of the 
Census. 


You can view all facts, you can also plot them on the maps. You can 
compare countries, search facts to be plotted, order lists alphabetically or by 
size etc. All the facts can be displayed on the screen and compared or rank 
ordered between countries. You can update facts or insert new information 
in free fields. You can also create your own data base without affecting 
the standard base provided with the program. 

Version 2.5 has the added feature of playing the music from the national 
anthem of many of the countries displayed. A disk with ALL national 
anthems is available separately. 


TO •OMXBik; (by mail) ASi&iE 

$39.95 151 rue Jolicoeur 

Hull, Quebec 
CANADA J8Z 1C8 


TO ORDER (byphm*) VISA, MASTERCARD, AMX 
CHIANG COMPUTERS 
(613) 230-2854 

For all ST/MEGA mono and colour. Packaged in compact 
box with fully illustrated manual and four colour cover. 
Single sided disk. The only full money back guaranty in 
the software business. WE TRUST YOU. 


Page 56 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 





CN Review 


Atari ST/Mega 


U/ltlow 

The Computer Game ... Enter CN’s New Contest! 
Re vie w by Bill Moes 




n evil queen. Magic. Unlikely heroes. A 
quest. Welcome to Willow. 

A popular movie in 1988, Willow, full of adventure, 
was an obvious candidate for a computer game. After 
all, if something is successful as a movie, it should be 
successful as a computer game. Right? ...sure. Maybe 
the real word is “$ucce$$ful.” 

Into the Woods 

Fans of the movie will find much that is familiar. 
Start with the scroll. Read and learn the story. And 
know that the scroll is also a doorway. For those 
words highlighted offer transport to parts of that story. 

Select “Dungeons” and find yourself in a maze of 
corridors. Move quickly or find great danger in your 
path. Avoid the traps. Carefully. 

And don’t forget the Daikini crossroads. Cross the 
“Woods” to get there. Nockmaar troops will attack. 
Armed with magic acorns, you may be lucky. You 
must be swift and cunning. 

Other adventures in Willow include the challenge 
of “Spellcasting,” choosing the correct three of 13 
runic charms. And the “Ice Caves” are good for a 
chilling thrill. Slide the path leading to safety or go 
tearing into the side of the cave, destroyed. And 
finally, the “Battle.” Be a swordsman in your quest to 
defeat the evil Kael. 

Willow can be played in quest or practice mode. 
The quest mode will challenge with all the dangers 
and obstacles in the proper order. In practice mode, 
choose just one of the obstacles for practice. 

The documentation claims that input can be by 
keyboard, mouse, or joystick. Willow, a two-disk 
program, requires a color monitor and runs on a 
standard 520 ST. 

Potties 

So: how does Willow rate? Alas, not well. It’s 
been a long time since I’ve been so disappointed in a 
game. 

It’s almost a software axiom that popular movies 
make poor computer games. W/llowlils that rule. 

The graphics are decent enough, although 
nothing terribly spectacular. The music and sound are 
acceptable, although certainly not noteworthy. 


The gameplay, though, is most unfortunate. I 
never was able to get the mouse to work properly. 
And the keyboard and joystick seemed to work fitfully. 

Different game modules took sometime beyond 
forever to load. And they didn’t stay in memory. If, for 
example, you choose to practice the “Ice Caves,” that 
section will need to be reloaded if you choose to 
immediately try it a second time. It’s an agonizingly 
slow process. 

The actual game modules, which reflect major 
action sequences from the movie, seemed dull and 
simple in design. To be fair, I was not a fan of the 
movie. Like too many Lucasfilm spectaculars, WH/ow 
(The Movie) seemed more interested in flashy special 
effects than in sincerely telling a story the audience 
could care about. 

And Willow (The Computer Game) ($49.95) has 
managed to capture that shallowness. 

So, what is there left to write? Well ... this one 
growls and barks. Don’t buy W/How. Period. 

^.ssasins 

But, okay, let’s have some fun! 

How about a contest? 

Yep, once again Current Notes leads the way with 
true reader participation. 

I was disappointed with Willow. Sure, something 
like that has happened to all of us at one time or 
another. So, let’s take out our frustrations and nail 'em! 
Pick your most disappointing Atari game, 8-bit or ST. 
In around 25 words, give us the “why” on your Edsel 
of Atariland. Scratch it down on a letter/postcard and 
send it off via. good ol’ U.S.P.S. to: Frank Sommers 
(you ^volunteer, didn’t you, Frank?), 4624 Langdrum 
Lane, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. Deadline: the end of 
the month (//?/£month! i.e. February). 

Frank will choose one (maybe out of a hat?) as 
the grand prize winner. Extra credit given if you can 
explain how the subtitles in this review are related to 
each other. 

Will Current Notes publish the entries? Maybe. 
Maybe not. 

And what will we have for the winner’s prize? Why 
... you guessed it... my copy of Willow. 

[Mindscape, 3444 Dundee Road, Northbrook, /L 
60062] 



January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 57 



Atari ST/Mega 


CN Review 


BATTLE FOR THE BIBLE 

Four of Them, Count ‘Em, Four 

By Timothy E. Rapson 



Finally! 

Four years of tears and we 
finally may have some Bible study 
software available for the ST! 

In December 1985 I plunked 
down $1,000 for a 520 ST with 
double-sided drive and color 
monitor. At the time this poor for¬ 
mer seminarian was reading with 
great anticipation reports that a 
California com¬ 
pany would buy 
hard disks 
directly from 
Atari (with an 
anticipated 
dealer cost of 
$200), install the 
entire Bible in 
three versions, 
plus Greek and 
Hebrew (the 
original languages of the Old and 
New Testaments), and sell them, 
drive and all, for $400. Boy, was I an 
idiot. I believed the whole thing. 

Four years older and wiser, and 
thousands of dollars poorer I like 
my ST, but I missed the Bible on 
disk. Now, in the Summer of the 
ST’s life, four programs have 
appeared that threaten to make 
computerized Bible study an excit¬ 
ing possibility. They are, Super 
Search, Seeker, Godspeed, and 
Spiritware Concordance. These 
programs take very different 
approaches to searching the Bible 
for words and phrases. 

We can forgive the lack of 
software to this point by the fact 
that Bible searching has been im¬ 
peded on all computers by the 
elephantine proportions of the task. 
The Bible takes up 4.6 megabytes 
in ASCII format. Compression rou¬ 
tines in Franklin’s new handheld 


Bible compress that to only one 
meg, but these compressions can 
slow searches a great deal. The 
information must be de¬ 
compressed, then searched, then 
saved and then a new section 
started on, and so forth, and so 
forth. It can all take a long time. 
Yet, without compression we are 
doomed to search four times the 
information; 
also a slow 
process. Two 
of the pro¬ 
grams here, 
Godspeed and 
Spiritware 
Concordance, 
deal with the 
immensity of 
the searching 
task by acting 
more like databases than word 
processors. They don’t use the 
mere ASCII text of the Bible, but 
make there own data files that 
store the text and a list of its 
vocabulary in special ways. They 
are fast and they allow many types 
of sorts. Seeker and Super Search 
find words and phrases just as a 
word processor would. They are 
slow, they have limited 
sorts of searches, and they 
are slow. Did I mention that 
they are slow? 

Real Dedication 

I must commend Rod¬ 
ney E. Haun who wrote 
Super Search and Larry 
Mears who wrote Seeker. 

They have obviously done 
an incredible amount of 
work. It appears that Haun 
actually typed in the Bible 
text (or substantial parts of 


it) on an Atari 8 bit. This is dedica¬ 
tion. Larry Mears has shown his 
love for his work by releasing the 
entire work as public domain. Each 
of these programs have some nice 
features (see chart). Nonetheless, I 
can’t recommend them. They are 
written for 520 & 1040 ST’s without 
hard drives and use standard slow 
search routines like a word proces¬ 
sor. Almost anything you can do 
with them would be better 
accomplished with a Bible concor¬ 
dance and a pencil. 

Godspeed & Concordance are 
in another ball park playing the 
game with the best of the field. 
Godspeed is also available for the 
IBM & compares well with the 
prolific competition there. Concor¬ 
dance, while unique to the ST (a 
Mac version is in the works) was 
written with the faster seek routines 
that set professional Bible search 
programs apart from the “home 
brew” versions. 

Godspeed is a fascinating 
example of speed. To use the 
program requires a hard drive. You 
begin with four double-sided disks 
full of King James Bible data. Run 
the Makekjv.tos (make King James 




Page 58 


Current Notes 


Vol. 9, No. 10 


















CN Review 


Atari ST/Mega 


Version) on disk #4 and the pro¬ 
gram asks you where to write the 
2.3 megabyte data file to. Insert 
each of the disks in the correct 
order and they are “glued” together 
into one huge file on the hard drive. 
Copy the Godspeed program to the 
same directory and double-click on 
it. You are then greeted with a stark 
text screen that looks like a typical 
program of the IBM world. The word 
“find” followed by a blinking cursor 
about half way down the screen is 
the only useful information pro¬ 
vided. Here is the definitive state¬ 
ment about this whole program... 
“find.” If you want to find a word or 
phrase in the King James Version of 
the Bible this one will find it for you 
fast, fast, fast. 

Limited Utility 

The problem is that this is all 
the program will do. You can’t save 
the verses to disk. You can’t view 
them in context (and the way the 


program works I don’t look for this 
to change). You can’t print them. 
Godspeed is a fascinating look at 
how quickly an ST can access 
large files from a hard disk, but as a 
Bible study tool it is of very limited 
value. As a speed study it may be 
worth $30. It is not worth the $100 
list price. 



The real power and hope of 
this group stands with Spiritware’s 
Concordance. This program does it 
all and does it well. It is one of the 
most elegant implementations of 
GEM I’ve ever seen. It will find your 
word, verse, or phrase fast. You 


may save your work to disks or print 
it on your printer. Complicated 
searches rival database power. 
There is only one drawback in the 
current version. It will search only 
the New Testament. Concordance 
2.0 should be ready by the new 
year, with even more features and 
the whole Bible in King James or 
New International Versions. But, let 
us not repeat the over-optimism of 
four years ago. The future may look 
bright for this one, but even in its 
current form, it is a winner. The 
bottom line may be the best feature 
of all. You can have it free. It is on 
Genie as shareware. (Hopefully, as 
you read this it will be in the Current 
Notes public domain library as well) 
But, PLEASE send the authors $15 
for the full manual and most recent 
version. If we can get Don Clifton 
enough money for a MEGA 4, laser 
printer, and bigger faster hard disk 
there’s no telling how far Concor¬ 
dance czx\ go. 


Best, and Worst, Features 

Published by: Rodney Haun, Computers As 
Seeker Tutors, 325 May Court, Mt. Zion, IL 62549. Various 

Best Features: Least expensive, searches whole programs, versions and data files (Old &/or New 
Bible, faster than Super Search, probably the best PD. Testaments) $5 to $50. 

Limits: Slow, requires multiple disk swaps to 
search whole Bible. Can take as long as 45 minutes to Godspeed 

search whole bible even from hard disk. Best Features: Fast, does some complex 

Recommendations: With apologies to Larry searching, & contains whole Bible. 

Mears for all of his hard work, this program is probably Limits: Will not save verses, print them out, or 
not a worthwhile Bible study tool for most of us. show them in context. 

Published by: Larry Gene Mears, Ph. HAUG BBS Recommendations: Not worth $100 in its cur- 
205-461-7893. Available in the Current Notes public rent state and is not likely to be upgraded, 
domain library on six dsdd disks for $24. Published by: Kingdom Age Software, 3368 

Governor Drive Suite F-197, San Diego, CA 92122. 
Super Search, Word Search, The Talking ph 619-586-1082 
Bible: 

Best Features: Shows verses in context, actually Spiritware’s Concordance 
speaks verses as requested using Atari’s own voice Best Features: Fast, full-featured, inexpensive, 
synthesis routine, inexpensive, eight bit version avail- easy to learn & use, good support, promising future, 
able. Limits: Currently available with only New Testa- 

Limits: Slow, loads only small portions of the text ment. 
at a time for searches. Recommendations: Buy this program now. 

Recommendations: With apologies to Rodney Published by: Spiritware, c/o Fifteenth Avenue 
Haun for all of his hard work, this program is probably Bible Church, 15211 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 
not a worthwhile Bible study tool for most of us. 98155 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 59 




Atari XL/XE 


CN Review 



I was given the copy of 
this program by Timothy 
Rapson, to review it, prior 
to its being given as a door 
prize at the Second Annual 
Central Illinois Computer- 
fest, and I find the program 
to be good for what it does. 

My first major complaint is that 
nowhere on the package, or on the 
disks, are booting instructions writ¬ 
ten. When I booted it up, it locked 
up on me. Because it didn’t say it, I 
didn’t enable BASIC in my 800XL. 
Instead, I tried my trusty BASIC XL 
cartridge. This caused it to change 
the screen color, and sent the 
cursor racing down the screen into 
never-never land. Naturally, I re¬ 
moved my BASIC XL cartridge, 
pressed Reset, held down the 
OPTION key to enable BASIC 
(Turbo-OS for the Turbo-816), and 
it worked. Considering the AUTO- 
RUN.SYS loader used, the publish¬ 
ers could have made the one minor 
change to allow the program to 
work with the OSS Supercartridge 
languages. 

The program is not copy pro¬ 
tected. In fact, the authors allow 
you to make copies and to give 
them out. BBS SysOps may place 
the data disks on-line, and if they 
send their name and the BBS 
phone number to the authors, they 
will provide updates. 

The package comes on seven, 
double-sided (flippie) disks, 
employing Atari DOS 2.0S. Since 
they aren’t copy-protected, they 
can be converted over to any other 
DOS that is compatible with DOS 
2.0S. 

If you leave them on the DOS 
2.0 disks, and use them, when you 
enter in the Book you wish to read, 
as well as the chapter you want to 
read, you have to switch the disks 
to make sure the proper disk is in 
the drive. Although the docs say 
the program will only search on 
drives 1 and 2,1 was unable to use 
any drive other than 1, without 


getting an Error-160. This is time 
consuming, but the entire package 
should fit very nicely in a one 
megabyte MIO, or a one megabyte 
Ramdisk upgraded 8-bit computer. 
This would make it virtually 
memory resident and would allow 
for reading the Bible a lot faster. 

Some of the verses, due to 
length, are divided up and made 
part of the following verse, due to 
screen size limitations. An XEP80, 
Bit3, or Omniview 80-column ver¬ 
sion would probably solve this. 

The major problem is the Word 
Search disk. Once again, it didn’t 
say it required BASIC or not, so I 
assumed it did, booted it up, and 
nothing but the familiar READY 
prompt appeared. Apparently it 
makes an illegal Operating System 
call to the 8-bit computer line. Yes, 

I had to switch over to a 400/800 
Operating System in the form of 
either my Newell OSNXL, or my 
Omniview 80, Operating System, in 
order to get it to function. Once 
again, nowhere does it say it 
requires BASIC, nor does it say it 
will not function properly on the 
XL/XE operating system, without a 
translator disk. 

Needless to say, these pro¬ 
blems can be fixed very easily by 
modifying the AUTORUN.SYS file 
to not use the illegal entry point in 
the operating system, but unless 
you are prepared for this, the 
software can prove to be very 
frustrating!! 

The Search feature asks for a 
word or phrase, then allows you to 
enter a second word or phrase. It 
asks for the drive identifier: D1, D2, 
D3, D4, or BYE to bypass drive 
output. Naturally, I assumed that I 


could enter a different 
drive number. After try¬ 
ing “D3” for my US 
Doubled 1050, it gave 
me an Error-160, so I 
tried again with “D1,” 
and I still received an 
Error-160! I finally gave up and 
typed in BYE to bypass the disk 
drives. 

After entering the search cri¬ 
teria, the program prompts you to 
enter the disk in drive 1. This is 
where the MIO, RAMdisk, or even a 
hard drive, set-up with Sparta- 
Dos’s, or MYDOS’s redirection 
command as drive 1 would come in 
handy. 

The program then searches the 
text file by loading it into memory, 
then searching verse by verse for 
any occurrence of the phrase or 
words typed in. It displays the verse 
with the match found, and gives 
you the option to continue, go to 
the next chapter, print the verse, or 
exit. 

I tried this, using the standard 
disks. It will find a match for any 
occurrence of the string in a word 
(e.g., if you type in “love,” it will 
also find “loved,” “unloved,” etc.). 

The copy I got came with an 
index already printed out, so I 
could locate which chapters and 
books were on which disk. Users 
can also print out a directory from 
the main menu, when they first 
boot it up and choose the Direc¬ 
tions option. One printing flaw is 
that the program only prints to one 
side of each page. 

The program is a very good 
implementation of the Holy Bible, 
and would do well for someone 
who needs to find a phrase, or 
otherwise wants to read various 
chapters and verses from books in 
the Bible. 

fThe Holy Bible, The New Tes¬ 
taments, Computers as Tutors!, 325 
May Court, Mt. Zion, IL 62549. 8-bit 
version cost $20. OO.] 


Page 60 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 














CN Review 


Atari XL/XE 


1989 Tax Advantage 

Needed: 600 Copies to Make 1990! 
Review by Richard Caldwell 


Simon & Schuster, Inc. has added the best selling 
program Tax Advantage, by Harry Koons and Henry 
Hilton, to its family of tax preparation software. This 
program is available in versions for the IBM, Apple II, 
Macintosh, Commodore 64/128, and Atari ST com¬ 
puters. The program was produced by Double Eagle 
software who will continue to publish a version for the 
Atari 800/XL/XE 8-bit computers. This may be the last 
year for the 8-bit version unless more interest is 
shown by users. The goal is to increase sales by 600 
units to pay for the cost of the annual updates. 
Versions of the program for all listed computers are 
available directly from Double Eagle software, but that 
is the only source for the 8-bit version. Ordering 
instructions have been included at the end of this 
review. 

As a satisfied user of this tax preparation program 
since the 1983 tax year, I would be very unhappy to 
see another excellent 8-bit software program discon¬ 
tinued. I hope that by reviewing this program for you, 
some additional interest and sales will be stimulated 
which will continue its annual publication and update. 

The Tax Advantage program is provided with a 
detailed instruction book which is very well written, 
easy to read and includes a complete table of 
contents and index. Most users will be successful in 
using the program without extensive study of these 
instructions except to answer questions about more 
complicated tax returns. 

The tax program is very user friendly with a series 
of menus for the various tax forms beginning with 
Form 1040. Shown below is an example of the menu 
for this form beginning with line 7. These numbers 
correspond to the lines on Form 1040. 



*** FORM 1040 *** 



—> 

INCOME 



7 

WAGES, FORM W-2 


0 

★ ★ 

empl.bus.exp. 


0 

★ ★ 

wages, tips etc. 


0 

8a 

TAXABLE INT. INC.[B] 


0 

8b 

TAX-EXEMPT INT. INC. 


0 

9 

DIVIDEND INCOME [B] 


0 

10 

TAX REFUNDS 


0 

11 

ALIMONY RECEIVED 


0 

e-: 

Enter I-Itemize L-Line 

Q-Quit 


u- 

UP D-Down F-Forward 

R-Reverse 

+ 

- A X H-Help O-Option 

T-Tax 



The arrow is moved to the desired line using the 
up or down keys, and the action for that line selected 
from the user choices on the menu at the bottom of 
the screen. The forward and reverse keys select the 
next or previous screen of lines of the form. Schedule 
A is reached by selecting the key to itemize line 34 on 
the Form 1040. Other schedules or forms can be 
reached by itemizing lines with the corresponding 
letter or number in brackets. The tax program recog¬ 
nizes the interrelationship of data entered on the 
various forms and flags lines with an “x” to indicate 
that these lines must be itemized one last time to 
complete the final calculation of the income tax due. 
The help function provides more information about the 
selected line. It is a good idea to use this function 
before making an entry to insure that you are using 
the correct line. 

All of the tax payer information and tax form data 
is recorded on a data disk which is separate from the 
program disks. Two disk drives are not required but 
highly desirable since they preclude frequent disk 
swapping as data is entered for the various forms. The 
authors recommend that back-up copies be made of 
both the program disks and the data disks using the 
J-duplicate disk DOS option. These disks do not have 
copy protection, and the authors request that you 
respect their copyright. 

Using a 9-pin dot matrix printer, the program can 
print completed forms which are approved by the IRS, 
except for the Atari 8-bit version. The 8-bit version 
prints all of the IRS approved schedules and forms 
except for Form 1040. This Form is printed in a draft 
format listing dollar amounts by line number to 
facilitate transfer to the IRS printed form. 

The prices for this year’s programs for the 1989 
tax year are $25.95 for the Atari 800, 800XL, 65XE, or 
130XE with 48K RAM and $35.95 for the Atari ST. 
Shipping is $3.50 with $3.50 additional for UPS Blue 
Label. Telephone orders are accepted at 1-800- 
443-0100, ext. 315m. 

Please call me at (703) 356-4248 if you have 
questions about this program, or call Double Eagle 
Software at (213) 212-6611. 

I hope that this review has been of interest and 
that enough 8-bit users will buy the program so that 
Double Eagle will achieve its goal of 600 new 
customers nationwide which will enable them to 
continue production of the Atari 8-bit version of the 
program in future years. 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 61 




Atari ST/Mega 


CN Review 


Kidpublisher Professional 

Desktop Publishing for Kids in School 

_by Georgia Weatherhead_ 


KidPublisher Professional has 
added and lost some features from 
the KidPubiisher I first viewed and 
loved. This Professional desktop 
publishing program is targeted for 
elementary and preschool using a 
520 ST with single-sided disk 
drives. It cannot be put on double¬ 
sided disks or into the hard drive. 
Yet it is worth the minimal cost to 
get it for your child three to nine 
years old to use at home. 

Using the limited memory of 
single-sided disks, the program 
must be limited in itself. 

Text Screens 

The good news for the text part 
of this desktop publishing for chil¬ 
dren is the addition of the title page 
for the five-page booklet that can 
be made. There is also a choice of 
one of four different fonts that can 
be adapted according to the curri¬ 
culum of the school using this DTP. 

Some schools start children 
printing upper case and lower case 
with simply drawn letters. The sans 
serif font will be familiar to these 
children. It is available in small 
lettering or large bold lettering. 
Other schools use a font more akin 
to cursive handwriting. The slanted 
D’Nealian font will be more useful 
for these children. For posters, an 
outline font is available. Only one 
font can be used for a book. 

The CapsLock, space bar, Shift, 
Backspace, and Delete keys work 
with the alphanumeric keys in the 
same way they always do. 

The bad news for the text may 
not be bad at all. Let us just say it is 
a different feature. There used to be 
a LOAD function whereby a book 
saved could be brought up from the 
past. Now the saved book is auto¬ 
matically loaded when the program 


is loaded. Get rid of it by clicking 
the BLANK function to start a new 
book. The HELP function on screen 
is no longer available, which again 
is ok, because a child couldn’t read 
it anyway. The bright red 24-page 
manual can give the teacher the 
information quickly. The teacher 
can carry the manual from com¬ 
puter to computer (if lucky enough 
to have several 520 STs in the 
classroom.) However, the pro¬ 
cedures are not so complicated 
that a manual is needed very long. 
This is meant to be so easy a 
three-year-old can use it. 


Children will love this creative 
program where they make their 
very own stories and 
illustrations. 


Graphics Screens 

Good news for graphics are the 
best yet. The picture at the top of 
each page originally could only be 
drawn with freehand use of the 
mouse. This procedure of drawing 
on a horizontal plane of the table 
and seeing it on the vertical plane 
of the monitor is a very difficult 
operation for young children (and 
us older left brain types.) Now 
there are circle, rectangle, line, and 
10 pattern fill features added to the 
free hand draw. The ERASE func¬ 
tion has three features—pixel 
erase, small box erase, large box 
erase. 

EXIT has been removed from 
the graphic screen. Exiting can 
only be done from the text screen. 
The name has been changed to 
SAVE, but the procedures remain 
the same. I have mixed emotions 
about changing the name EXIT to 
SAVE. Exit is a word all children 


should be familiar with because of 
its use in all public buildings such 
as schools, movies, stores, libraries, 
and malls. As a teacher, I just 
appreciate the use of a lifesaving 
word in many situations. 

The original Kidpub/isher had a 
program CONTROL.ACC with 
accompanying DESKTOP.INF to be 
added to the disk if the printer did 
not print properly. I tried to add 
these because mine does not. 
There was not enough disk memory 
with the new graphics to add these 
to Kidpublisher Professional. The 
new instructions suggested getting 
Tom Hudson’s program to make 
your own printer driver. I do not 
know when I would get around to 
that. 

However, I called D.A.Brumleve 
to tell her my problems, which 
turned out to be with TOS 1.4. She 
had the solution right away and 
sent instructions of how to adjust 
the Desktop information to center 
the print. These instructions will be 
included in the new manuals. 

One does get personal help 
with KidPubiisher Professional im¬ 
mediately from the writer, a feature 
not always available with ST soft¬ 
ware. Support will be given by 
means of GEnie, CompuServe, Del¬ 
phi, phone, or mail. You cannot 
beat that support. 

An added nicety to the Profes¬ 
sional package are six preprinted 
labels for your copies. Each child 
should have his own disk. 

I could bore you with the edu¬ 
cational values of this program 
mentioning all kinds of skills to be 
developed, but it is better I tell you 
that the children will love this crea¬ 
tive program where they make their 
very own stories and illustrations. 


Page 62 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 





How much is YOUR 
time worth? 


- W7. 



Turbo ST turns your 520/1040 ST into a speed 
demon. Check out Turbo ST at your local dealer 
or download our free demo from your favorite 
bulletin board. 

Upgrades to version 1.6 are only $5 with your 
original disk. For more information, call (407) 
657-4611, or write to SofTrek, P.O. Box 5257, 
Winter Park, FL 32793. 


DOES YOUR KID THINK THE ST IS A GAME MACHINE? 

Kidpublisher Professional 

A Desktop Publishing Program for Young Writers 

Kidpublisher Professional represents a major enhancement of 
D.A. Brumleve’s freely-distributed careware program, Kidpublisher. 
Version 6.0 has been completely rewritten to bring your child: 

an automatically-loaded font set (4 sets included) 

Q3* a faster word processor with word wrap, an underline option, 
and movement of the text cursor with mouse or arrow keys 
03* a greatly-expanded drawing program with features such as 
LINE, CIRCLE, BOX, FILL, and the all-important UNDO 
03* a title page option which automatically centers your title, 
author, and illustrator 

03* many minor additions and improvements 

ss*"is? I I 

sional-looking books ,# t ° 

and other documents. b g trw bcsidt ny ham. I con 
! The kidfriendly features cl ,nb thot and I nant to 
you’ve come to expect build a trathousa whan ny dad is 

from the author’s NiIIing to lat na u*a a hannar. 

kidprgs series com- Ha sags naybe I can next suraier! 

bine to make this pro- Page i 

gram accessible to the - - ■ - 

youngest Of writers. TO Kidpublisher Professional’s typing 

order your Child’s copy, screen is shown above. Five pages of text 

see your dealer or send and 9 ra P hics are automatically loaded 

a check for US$25 to- with the pr0 9 rar7V Each printed page has a 

* picture at the top and text below. 

D.A. BBUMLEVE 

P.O. Box 4195 REQUIRES COLOR MONITOR 

UrbdflB IL 61801 Printer must accept an ST screen dump. 

Demo version available for $5. Dealer inquiries welcome. I 


THE ONE PLACE FOR 
ALL ATARI OWNERS 

The Electronic Clinic is the one-stop shop for all your Atari needs. If you own or would like to purchase 
ANYTHING with the Atari name on it, we are the people to talk to for sales, service and support. We carry a full 
line of software, accessories and peripherals for: 

o Atari 2600 and 5200 and XE game machines 
o Atari 400,800,800XL, 1200XL, 65XE and 130XE 8-bit computers 
o Atari 520ST and 1040ST 16-bit computers, and 
e>the new Atari Mega ST computers! 

We also provide factory-authorized service on all Atari-manufactured products. We have been in the 
service/repair business for 20 years, repairing stereo and video equippment, and have been servicing Atari 
computers for 8 years. 

At The Electronic Clinic, we are dedicated to providing all Atari owners with the tools they need to get the 
most out of their computers. Give us a call or drop by for a visit! We take personal checks and cash (No Credit 
Cards) and are open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays until 6, Thursdays until 8, and Saturdays 
from 9 to 2. 

MAIL ORDERS ARE WELCOME! 

THE ELECTRONIC CLINIC 

4916 Del Ray Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814 

(301) 656-7983 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 63 





Atari ST/Mega 


CN Review 


T V Sports Football 

Easing The Postseason Letdown 

Reviewed by George Hulseman 


It was about a month ago when 
I casually informed my family I 
would be conducting important 
research for an upcoming review 
and to not disturb me for any 
reason. I then crept into the con¬ 
fines of what is known in my 
household as the computer room 
(equipped with an ST and a 130 XE) 
and loaded up TV Sports: Football, 
a football simulation from Cinema- 
ware which, in fact, has nothing to 
do with television. 

After several hours of careful 
research I have no doubts about 
the quality and effort that must have 
gone into the making of this pro¬ 
gram. While TV Sports: Football has 
its flaws, including a rather major 
one which I will describe later, the 
selling points of this game are most 
impressive, making it one of the 
best ST sports simulations around. 

“So real it sweats!” the game 
box proclaims and rightly so. This 
entertaining sports simulation com¬ 
bines good arcade action with the 
strategy of pro football. TV Sports: 
Football features superb graphics 
and animation while allowing you to 
compete in a 28-team league 
made up of either computer or 
human-controlled teams or a com¬ 
bination of both. The games follow 
the rules of professional football 
very closely, taking into account 
field goals, extra points, safeties, 
and penalties. You can play alone 
or against other humans, taking a 
team of your making to the cham¬ 
pionship final. 

The ST version of this game is a 
pretty straightforward football simu¬ 
lation with none of the gimmicks 
that accompany some of the other 
versions. The Amiga version, for 
instance, actually has “commer¬ 
cials” in an attempt to mimic foot¬ 


ball as you see it on television. As 
far as I’m concerned such gim¬ 
mickry becomes tiresome and the 
game is better off without it. 

What TV Sports: Football does 
have is excellent graphics and fluid 
animation that is both visually 
appealing and realistic. Each of the 
28 teams competing in the league 
has its unique traits, some having 
fairly strong offensive tendencies 
and others with the accent on 
defense. Each team can be altered 
and saved to disk, including the 
team you control which can be 
adapted to your specific game 
plan. This can be done in edit 
mode only before the season starts 
so there can be no changing 
around in mid-season. 

When editing a team, each 
player is assigned an overall rating, 
his skills adjusted according to how 
many “talent points” he is allotted. 
Your number one player receives 
the most talent points and therefore 
excels in all four categories: speed, 
strength, hands, and ability. The 
way you distribute the talent points 
determines the strengths and 
weaknesses of that particular 
player. For example, you will pro¬ 
bably want to emphasize the 
“strength” of your punter at the 
expense of his “hands” ability, 
which is essentially his ability to 
hold on to a ball. For a wide 
receiver or running back, speed is 
probably most important. How you 
divide up the talent points on your 
team has a direct bearing on that 
team’s ability to win games. 

The season in TV Sports: Foot¬ 
balls 16 games long, as it is in the 
National Football League. Teams 
with the best records go on to the 
playoffs as do two “wild card” 
teams from each conference. The 


winners of the two wild card games 
advance to the conference semi¬ 
finals and the winners of the semi¬ 
finals then proceed to the con¬ 
ference championship. Finally, the 
two conference champions meet in 
the championship game, a sort of 
video “Super Bowl.” 

Playing TV Sports: Football 
takes some time to learn, but is not 
too difficult to master. There is 
enough variety in the number of 
plays available to provide an im¬ 
petus for experimentation. On 
offense you control the player with 
the ball. When passing you control 
the intended receiver both before 
and after he catches the ball. To 
throw the ball you move your quar¬ 
terback behind the line of scrim¬ 
mage and then aim somewhere 
upfield where, hopefully, your 
receivers will be running their pass 
routes unhindered by pass defen¬ 
ders. By pushing the joystick button 
and holding it down, you control 
just how far the ball is tossed. 

Quarterbacks with high strength 
ratings can throw the ball as far as 
John Elway. If your receivers are 
well-covered you can hold on to 
the ball and try to run upfield 
Randall Cunningham style. Or you 
can throw it away, either out of 
bounds or somewhere away from 
the coverage. If you hold on for too 
long you can be called for offensive 
holding. You can also get penalized 
for intentional grounding. 

On defense you can shift con¬ 
trol between four linebackers 
before the ball is hiked and then 
either try to cover one of the 
receivers or go after the quarter¬ 
back. Sacks are both gratifying and 
rare, and can be attempted without 
too much risk if you assign the 
other linebackers to cover the pass. 
You’ll occasionally get burned, 
especially if you are on an all-out 
blitz of the quarterback. Defensively 
you can get called for being off¬ 
sides or encroachment, both five 
yard penalties. 

On both defense and offense 
the computer will take over for you 


Page 64 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 



CN Review 


Atari ST/Mega 


if you do not input any moves with 
your joystick after a period of a few 
seconds. Although this is intended 
to make it easier for beginners, it 
can become irritating if, for in¬ 
stance, you want your quarterback 
to remain in the pocket while wide 
receivers are getting open. The 
computer will also choose forma¬ 
tions and plays for you if you do not 
choose one after about eight 
seconds. In fact, the computer will 
take over completely if you would 
rather put the joystick down and 
simply watch. 

While graphics are outstanding 
in TV Sports: Football, the sound is 
virtually non-existent. Just about all 
you’ll hear is a theme song that 
plays before games and the clicks 
when you enter in each play. Don’t 
expect any cheering when you 
score a touchdown unless you have 
an audience in the room with you. 

The program saves all teams’ 
standings following each week of 
play. When you are ready to play 
press continue season from the 
menu and you will see a schedule 
of that week’s games. Select the 
game involving your (human-con- 
trolled) team and you will go to the 
playing field to witness the coin 
toss and then begin play. Results 
from around the league are deter¬ 
mined automatically by the com¬ 
puter. If you want to watch a 
contest between two computer- 
controlled teams simply choose 
that option when the schedule of 
games is displayed. 

Games involving the team you 
control can also be determined in 
auto mode if you want to weed out 
your easy opponents by letting the 
computer determine the results. If 
you’re competing in a multi-player 
league and one of the players isn’t 
available for his game, you can 
have the computer decide the 
game for him. No one can advance 
to the next week until all the games 
from the current week are decided. 

As the season progresses, the 
league standings are automatically 


saved to disk. If you lose in the 
playoffs, you’re no longer in the 
running, although you have the 
option of turning the computer off if 
it looks like you’re going to lose. 
You can also make copies of your 
game disk at any stage of the 
season. The game disk is not 
copy-protected; you can make all 
the backups you need. We all 
know, however, the consequences 
of distributing illegal copies of pro¬ 
grams: less profits for the develop¬ 
ers and less likelihood for con¬ 
tinued support of Atari computers. 

There is a rather significant 
problem that apparently only 
affects some of the STs out there, 
including the machine I own. For 
some mysterious reason the first 
playoff game involving a human- 
controlled team does not save to 
disk, effectively preventing a player 
from competing in subsequent 
playoff games and ultimately the 
championship final. The folks at 
Cinemaware are aware of the pro¬ 
blem, but they have not corrected it 
yet because they don’t know 
what’s causing it. A spokesman 
from the company told me the 
failure is probably somehow linked 
to hardware since they are unable 
to duplicate the problem on their 
computers using disks returned by 
irate customers such as myself. 
The company will send you a 
replacement disk, but it probably 
won’t do any good. I have not yet 
received mine, but I am willing to 
wait until the problem is corrected 
while I use my backup copy. 

Despite this rather serious flaw, 
there is a way to take a human- 
controlled team to the playoffs. 
Allow the computer to determine 
the results of the first playoff game. 
If the computer decides you are 
the victor, then that first game 
registers and the league position is 
saved. You can then play the 
remaining playoff game and the 
championship final successfully. 

If you go into the playoffs as a 
wild card team, you will experience 


the problem in both the wild card 
game and the conference cham¬ 
pionship. I took a team of my own 
making all the way to the cham¬ 
pionship, but only because the 
computer decided my team the 
victor in the two mentioned playoff 
games. Although I had won both 
games on my own, the computer 
didn’t acknowledge those victories 
and I had to allow the computer to 
determine the results. 

There are other problems as 
well. Most of the computer-con¬ 
trolled teams you play are simply 
too easy to beat. Not that you can 
score a touchdown on every play, 
but nearly always you will outmatch 
your opponent without batting an 
eye. Every once in a while you 
come across a team that poses a 
challenge, but generally it’s easy 
pickings from game one on. 
Theoretically you could attempt to 
take a statistically poor team all the 
way, but with the above-mentioned 
flaw in the program, you’ll never get 
it past the first playoff game. 

Another problem is that while 
documentation for TV Sports. Foot- 
ba// \s quite detailed and informa¬ 
tive, it contains references to 
options not available with the ST 
version of the game. For example, 
the manual talks about viewing your 
opponent’s stats to help develop 
your game plan, an option not 
included for the ST. 

Overall, the folks at Cinema- 
ware have put together a very 
worthwhile game. This is a sports 
game to be enjoyed and savored. I 
know of no other football game for 
the Atari computers that comes 
close to the depth and detail. The 
animation is very convincing; the 
graphics have to be seen to be 
believed. The complexity of the 
game of football is integrated very 
well into a sharp program which will 
have long-lasting appeal for com¬ 
puter sports enthusiasts. 

Anyway, I’ve got to go. I have 
much research to conduct. 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 65 



Atari ST/Mega 


CN Review 


Shufflepuck Cafe 

Entertainment Software from Broderbund 
by Milt Creighton 


Shufflepuck Cafe takes place 
in the sort of dive you might expect 
to find in a seedy starport in one of 
the Starwars movies. Its inhabitants 
include some of the most exotic 
creatures you’ll find this side of 
Millways. Interestingly enough, the 
entire crowd is hooked on the game 
of shufflepuck, a sort of cross 
between shuffleboard and ping 
pong. 

In essence, shufflepuck is 
played by two contestants who 
stand at either end of a long, 
narrow table. The table has cush¬ 
ions on either side like a pool table, 
but each end of the table is open. 
The object of the game is to drive 
an object that looks like a hockey 
puck past your opponent’s guard 
and off the end of the table. 

A Floating Paddle 

The instrument with which you 
will accomplish this feat is a rec¬ 
tangular paddle that floats just 
above the table, allowing the 
players to strike the puck toward 
their opponent’s goal. Each time 
the puck flies off the end of the 
table it shatters a glass-like protec¬ 
tive force field and a point is 
scored. Serves alternate between 
players and the first player to score 
fifteen points wins the game. You 
don’t have to win by two as in 
volleyball. Simple, no? 

Well, it is a simple game and I 
have found that simple games are 
often the most entertaining kind. It’s 
hard to categorize Shufflepuck 
Cafe. Strictly speaking, it’s not an 
arcade game—there’s nothing to 
shoot, no knives, rocks, or barrels 
to dodge and no swordsmen to kill. 
It’s not a sports simulation either— 
it doesn’t play like “Air Hockey” and 
there aren’t all those confusing 


knobs you find in “Fooseball.” It’s 
not exactly in a class by itself; it’s 
just good clean fun. 

The Joy of Slumming 

What makes Shufflepuck Cafe 
fun is the atmosphere of the place 
and the opponents you play. Each 
of the denizens of the bar is a 
potential opponent and each has 
his or her own style of play. Begin¬ 
ners should start with the geeky 
Skip who will congratulate you 
every time you score a point and 
smirk if he should get lucky. After 
Skip, Vinnie or Visine are the next 
easiest. You shouldn’t have any 
trouble with them and they are fun 
to play. The elegant Lexan is 
another matter and a formidable 
opponent—at first. 

The others all have their 
strengths and weakness and you 
should eventually find a way to 
beat them, even if you have barna¬ 
cle-encrusted reflexes like mine. All 
except for Biff Raunch. He is the 
most irritating of the lot; you’ll want 
to shove that paddle down his 
throat each time he wins a point- 
and he’ll win most of them unless 
you are very good or very lucky. 

Once you’ve beaten all the 
players, you’ll want to enter the 
tournament and try to beat every¬ 
one there in straight games. If you 
do, your name will be entered in 
the champion’s hall of fame. That’s 
what this game is all about, but it 
doesn’t give you a good feel for 
what it takes to get there. 

Shufflepuck Cafe is played 
using the Atari ST mouse. The 
mouse controls the movement of 
your paddle. It registers movement 
in both the vertical and horizontal 
dimensions and controls both the 
swiftness of your block and the 


speed of your return stroke. It 
permits angle strikes for bank shots 
and straight-forward slams. I don’t 
think you can really put english on 
the puck, but the rebound off the 
bank sometimes looks like spin 
might be taken into account as 
well. 

The control of the mouse is 
superb—especially when you are 
fresh and aren’t trying to make the 
mouse track more than it was 
designed to do. However, as you 
gain experience (and your mouse 
begins to show signs of wear) it is 
possible to over-control your shots 
and some of your quickest strikes 
will go awry. It’s unfortunate that 
the mechanics of the mouse can 
interfere with the game, but it’s a 
real-world problem upon which the 
game designers had to comprom¬ 
ise. The mouse is still the best 
controller; a joystick wouldn’t be 
nearly as intuitive. Once you get 
used to the limitations, it shouldn’t 
interfere with your play. If your 
mouse is in good condition, it will 
improve game play—at the 
expense of wear and tear on the 
mouse, of course. 

Top Graphics & Sound 

The graphics in Shufflepuck 
Cafe axe excellent, and the digitized 
sounds are just as well done. They 
are appropriate and add immensely 
to the enjoyment of the contest. 
The animation in this game is one 
of the best efforts I have seen on 
any fast-paced game, and the 
characters (contestants) are both 
colorful and worthy of your atten¬ 
tion. 

Broderbund would have had a 
great game if they had stopped 
there, but they have added a num¬ 
ber of additional features to keep 
the appeal of the game strong even 
after you have mastered all the 
contestants (or to handicap an 
opponent to learn his weakness). 
You can change the size of your 
paddle from a small postage-stamp 

(Continued on page 67) 


Page 66 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 




CN Review 


Atari ST/Mega 


SkyChase 

See How the Red Baron Shoots You Down 

by Mike Heininger (c) 1990 


With all the flight simulators 
available, there’s still nothing as 
smooth, fast, easy, and pure fun as 
SkyChase with its split screen 
option that lets you see how your 
esteemed opponent (computer or 
human) is blasting your fanny from 
the sunny skies of Atariland. 

SkyChase is easy to load, easy 
to customize for handicapping 
yourself or your opponent, and 
easy to play. Jets are wire framed 
3D images a la Starg/ider, and just 
as fast and silky smooth. When my 
son and sons-in-law and I argue 
about who’s top gun, the program 
that lets us settle it is SkyChase. 

Forget about mimicking actual 
combat scenarios. It’s just you and 
the other pilot. Call it the Gun/ 
Missile Fight at the OK Corral/Cube, 
because that’s where the action is 
in a large cube 50,000 feet high. 
That’s so no yellow bellied coward 
can run very far or fly too unbeliev¬ 
ably stupidly to stay in the air. 

Choose one of seven jets, each 
with comparative limits on throttle, 
max level speed, max roll rate, max 
upward pitch change rate, and max 
downward pitch change rate. If 
you’re a real J.R. Ewing, you can 
skip the F 18, F 14, F 15, F 16, MIG 
31, and MIG 27 to opt for the Paper 
Airplane which combines all the 
best features. 

Customize the Challenge 

You can also go for optimum 
fuel, ammo, missiles, missile lock 
threshold, bullet hit threshold, G 
force effect, and skill level. Either 
player or computer also can have a 
skill level of easy, average, difficult, 
or ace, corresponding to increasing 
levels of maneuverability. In short, 
you can make the fight as chal¬ 
lenging as you like. 


Main gripes are copy protec¬ 
tion, which requires using the ori¬ 
ginal disk all the time, and unrealis¬ 
tic gun configuration. The gun nor¬ 
mally outranges the missiles, and is 
more accurate at long range than 
up close. This is because the 
default bulls eye is nine pixels, 
which are more concentrated when 
your target is a mere blip than 
when it expands to fill most the 
screen up close. 

The missile lock threshold 
defaults to 20 pixels, and can be 
set anywhere from 0 to 40 pixels. 
Guns are fired by pressing the 
trigger button once; missiles are 
fired by pressing it twice. This takes 
a little getting used to, but is no big 
problem. Interval between the two 
clicks can be adjusted to fast, 
medium, or slow. 

In fact, such adjustability is one 
of SkyChase's strongest points. 
While the defaults make excellent 
play for relatively matched 
opponents, the adjustability of all 
characteristics from fuel to weapon 
lethality makes big league handi¬ 
capping a cinch. It should be no 
problem to match a real fighter pilot 
with a nine year old under such 
handicapping, the bottom line 
being a rousing game that is totally 
enjoyable for BOTH players. 

When in Doubt, Climb 

Combat tip: when in doubt, 
haul that stick back and climb 
straight up. Altitude is almost 
always a virtue in SkyChase. In fact, 
the computer opponent can be 
considered handicapped even in 
expert mode because its pitch is 
limited to 60 degrees (less in other 
modes) while you can blaze a true 
vertical 90 degrees. 


Nevertheless, don’t ever get the 
idea anything about the computer 
or human opponent is easy. Just as 
in real combat, the instant you relax 
against any reasonably competent 
antagonist is the instant you’re 
zapped. So who is top gun in your 
circles? Get SkyChase and settle it 
... again, and again ... and again .... 
SkyChase will be your cost effec¬ 
tive max fun per play champion. 

Available from Maxis Software, 
953 Mountain View Drive, Suite 
#113, Lafayette, CA 94549; (415) 
376 6434. List price: $39.99. 
Requires joystick (two for two- 
player option). Should not be run 
with RAM disk configured or other 
configuration or desk accessories 
that use much RAM. Operating 
system must be in ROM (TOS in 
ROM). Copy protected. 


Shufflepuck Cafe 

(Continued from page 66) 


size patch to one the full width of 
the table. You can set the speed of 
the puck’s forward and sideways 
rebound and power from your pad¬ 
dle with the left button up or down. 

In addition, you can add a 
blocker (an obstruction in the exact 
center of the table that will move 
when it is struck by the puck) of 
any size or weight. You can choose 
to play the android server for prac¬ 
tice and set his skill to any level you 
desire. It makes for a formidable 
adversary even after you have 
managed to humble Biff Raunch. 

The Bottom Line : Shufflepuck 
Cafe is one of the most entertaining 
games I’ve played in a long time. It 
is simple to learn, but challenging 
enough to retain your interest for a 
long time. Theatmosphere of Shuf¬ 
flepuck Cafe is diverting enough to 
tempt me into a round against one 
of the better denizens (Eneg is my 
favorite) even when I know I don’t 
really have the time to play games. 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 67 




Atari XL/XE 


CN Review 


Paperclip Revisited 

One of the Best Word Processors Ever Produced for the Atari 8-bit 
_by David J. Harris_ 


This is a goodby review for an old Atari friend. 
One, I might add, who has served me faithfully for over 
four years, turning out everything from simple letters to 
college term papers. Paperclip 130XE is, without a 
doubt, one of the best word processors ever produced 
for the Atari 8-bit computer, bar none. Even so it has 
not received the publicity or recognition it deserves 
and now joins the growing ranks of discontinued 
productivity software. It’s a shame that new Atari users 
are going to be deprived of the opportunity of using 
such an excellent program once the current supply 
dries up. I am still amazed that Atari has not bought 
out the rights to Paperclip and replaced AtariWriter+ 
with it. Then again just about everything that Atari’s 
management does amazes me (thats not a compli¬ 
ment). 

Paperclip’s features seem limitless, and thus I 
won’t try to cover them all in this article. Briefly though, 
it has dual text windows, cut and paste buffer, search 
and replace, macros, mail merge, print preview, 
numerous printer drivers, and many other features that 
make this a truly professional word processor. Who 
says you need an IBM or Mac to do professional style 
work? 

The features I will cover are the expanded text 
work space and the excellent SpellPack spell checker. 
These two features work best on Ataris with expanded 
memory, preferably 256K or more. The usual text file 
size on an unmodified 800XL is around 25K but when 
run on a modified Rambo XL 256K model, you have a 
whopping 112K of continuous text. The Newell 
memory upgrade requires a patch I am told, but it still 
will give you a respectable 90K of work space. 

It’s a shame Newell does not release a patch that 
would enable Paperc/ip to work on their fine Omniview 
chip. This chip gives a very readable 80-column 
display and has been all but forgotten by the Atari 
community. It seems that if Atar/Writer+ will work with a 
patch on Omniview, then Paperclip should work as 
well. Any programmer out there feel up to the task? 

Dan Moore and Steve Ahlstrom, the authors of 
Paperc/ip ; have implemented a superior method for 
using extra memory. Instead of the segmented 16K 
buffers (like poor AtariWriter +), Paperclip’s methods of 
memory management are similar to those the Apple II 
line uses for expanded memory. 

Since the 6502 can only access 64K at one time, 
the rest has to be bank switched. This is done in such 


a manner that the memory looks and works as one 
continuous chunk of memory. The bank switching of 
memory is unseen by the user. The Apple II line has 
memory cards of over one meg, and the programs 
that take advantage of this memory have huge 
continuous work areas. These programs make the 
memory upgrades more practical as well as useful. 
We Atarians, on the other hand, have been limited in 
using our expanded memory, mainly as ramdisks with 
little software actually taking advantage of the extra 
memory. 

Even with 112K of text there is still enough 
memory left over for loading the entire Spei/Pack 
dictionary into RAM. It does take about a minute and a 
half to load the dictionary, but it is still light years 
ahead of spell checking with a disk drive. Once loaded 
you can switch back and forth between the main 
program and the spell checker with no lost time, unlike 
AtariWriter’s disk-based spell checker which must 
reload every time you want to use it. AtariWriter+’s 
proofreader mode takes close to a minute to load for 
comparison. Once your Paperc/ip dictionary is loaded 
you can spell check as many documents as you wish. 

One bug in checking more than one document is 
that the menu asks you to reload the dictionary again 
which is impossible since you have already loaded it 
into RAM. The drive will not operate. To get around 
this, hit the Print error option in the Spei/Pack mode 
and then hit ESC after the first word is printed, and it 
will begin correcting like normal. I don’t know if this is 
a bug common to all Paperclip 130XE versions or just 
my copy (my copy is close to four years old). Since 
this bug is easy to get around, you could say it is 
more of a nuisance then a bug. 

After all of this there is still enough room left over 
for 16K of supplementary (personal) dictionaries. 
While not exactly IBM-like in size, these personal 
dictionaries can be set up in such a manner that they 
will take care of your most often used words that don’t 
appear in the main dictionary. The manual suggests 
that words of similar nature should be put in the same 
dictionary for saving memory space. 

For comparison’s sake I ran a speed test between 
AtariWriter+’s disk-based spell checker and Paper- 
ciip’s RAM-based spell checker. The file checked was 
around 1700 words long, and the results were 
staggering. Paperc/ip won hands down. After sub¬ 
tracting load times for both programs, Paperclip took 


Page 68 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 






CN Review 


around two and half minutes while Atariwriter+ 
took seven minutes. 

The one big advantage of using a disk based 
spell checker such as AtariWriter+ and Spell 
Magic is that they can be used on normal 48K 
and 64K machines. Paperclip’s SpeHPack, on the 
other hand, can only be used on a 130XE or 
larger machine. 

The method by which SpeHPack checks its 
documents is another big plus. The screen is split 
in half with the bottom half showing the SpeHPack 
choices and dictionary selection, while the upper 
half shows the file in context. If you don’t know 
the spelling of a word, just type in the first two or 
three letters, and the dictionary will start there and 
scroll through the RAM-based dictionary until you 
find your word. Once you find the right word hit 
“yes” for accept word and return, and the word 
appears in your document. 

Again a far superior method compared to 
AtariWriter+’s method of finding the word and 
then typing the correct spelling in. This adds 
greatly to your spell check time and frustration 
level. The 36,000 word SpeHPack dictionary does 
not have the correct spelling for all mistakes but 
will nonetheless highlight every word it does not 
recognize. 

Admittedly Paperc/ip is not completely per¬ 
fect. Jiggle your printer interface enough, and 
sometimes it will lock up. Save a blank screen 
with the Write command using the same file name 
as a document that is already on disk, and you 
will end up with an empty file. 

Despite these bugs it is still one of the few 
programs that truly uses the extra memory on the 
souped up Ataris intelligently. As I stated before I 
am very sad to see its demise. Even sadder is the 
fact that I will also probably never see the only 
feature it lacks—an 80-column display. 


New Book by Ralph Turner! Covers hard drive 
management & optimization, IBM emulators, 
connecting a 5 7,-inch floppy drive, assem¬ 
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SCSI ID numbers and LUN IDs, sector and file 
editing, binary, hexadecimal and decimal 
codes, ASCII file problems, escape codes, 
miscellaneous tips, and much more. No 
programming knowledge required. (Also avail¬ 
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Check, Money Ordei; VISA or MasterCard. Index Legalis, Post 
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Intermediate 
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Atari ST 
Subjects 



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Comet Copier, & Comet Copier JR; 


This compact hardware device reads, writes, spits fire (well almost) with 
unearthly speed* and precision. 


Perfect for PD librarians, mass purchasers of ST software, and most 
any ST owner. Great for making back-ups of your master disks. 

COMET COPIER, JR. $54.95* Simply replaces your existing drive 
cables when using it for copying. The third end plugs into your printer 
port. 

COMET COPIER $99.95* Same as above but includes a switch for 
changing between copy and regular modes. No cable switching. 

90-day warranty. Made on Earth. 

Runs on any color or monochrome ST system with two 3.5" disk 
drives. 


* Our lab tests indicate backup times as follows (for copy-protected or 
non-protected disks): 

SS/DD - 25 seconds DS/DD - 50 seconds 


Add $4 shipping per order. Dealer inquiries welcome. 


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1041-bE. ST. Charles Rd. 
Elmhurst, IL. 60148-2059 
(708) 627-7462 
(708) MARS-INC 




January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 69 








Atari ST/Mega 


CN Review 


Prospero Developers Toolkit 

Not Great, Just Good, and Worth the Money 

Review by J. Andrzej Wrotniak 

Prospero is gaining ground on 
the ST programming language mar¬ 
ket and not without a good reason. 
Without much hype they keep 
expanding their programming tool 
set; 1 am using their Pascal, FOR¬ 
TRAN and C very heavily without 
many complaints. No wonder that 
as soon as 1 knew their Toolkit was 
being shipped, 1 called them with 
my credit card handy. A few days 
later and $96 poorer 1 could start 
playing with my new toy—and on 
my company’s time, too! Now, after 
two months of using the Too/kit for 
about eight hours a day, 1 can share 
some remarks with you. 

The Developers Toolkit can be 
used with any and all of the Pro¬ 
spero languages. It consists (in 
addition to some minor utilities) of 
five major parts. 

The Workbench 

This is the editor-shell, from 
where programs can be edited, 
compiled, linked and executed. It 
looks and behaves very much like 
workbenches supplied with Pro- 
spero’s individual compilers (which 
means good), but can be used with 
any Prospero language as well as 
with the assembler. All improve¬ 
ments (a dozen or so) are evolu¬ 
tionary rather than revolutionary. 

This is a convenient program¬ 
ming environment with few minor 
shortcomings (slow file reading the 
most irritating among them). The 
replacement comes in very handy, 
especially (but not only) for some¬ 
body switching between languages 

Command Line Interpreter 

Some of us may prefer to run 
the compiler, linker, or the resulting 

programs from a command line 
interpreter (CLI), as opposed to a 
GEM shell. Also, some (if few) 
operations can be performed more 
conveniently from a CLI. Last, but 
not least, more frequently used 
sequences of commands can be 
grouped together in batch files and 
executed with a single invocation. 

The CLI coming with the Toolkit 
is quite simple to use and behaves 
just fine. It also can be activated 
directly from the GEM workbench 
by clicking on a menu entry, so that 
both modes of work can be 
smoothly mixed. 

The set of twenty or so sup¬ 
ported commands could be a little 
expanded. No, 1 do not need a 
Unix or VMS clone, but, for exam¬ 
ple, the lack of the MOVE com¬ 
mand can be, at times, incon¬ 
venient: COPY and DELete will take 
more time, especially when files are 
moved within the same disk drive. 
A smart MOVE command will just 
change the directory entry, without 
actually copying and erasing the 
moved files. 

1 use the CLI occasionally, 
mostly to execute batch files (luck¬ 
ily, IF and GOTO commands are 
supported), but it is good to have it 
there in case 1 need it. 

Promake, a Make Utility 

The interdependencies be¬ 
tween various files which have to 
be processed to result in an exe¬ 
cutable program can be described 
in a control file with use of a 
special formalism. Promake will 
interpret this file and perform all the 
necessary operations (e.g., com¬ 
piling or linking) to make sure that 
the files that depend on others are 
appropriately updated. 

For example, if our program 
PP.PRG is produced by linking of 
object files A.BIN, B.BIN and C.BIN, 
and if the BIN files are derived by 
compilation of appropriate PAS 
files, these dependencies can be 
described in a control file PP.MAK. 
If, after discovering a bug in our 
program, we correct it by re-editing 
A.PAS and C.PAS, then Promake 
will recompile A and C (there is no 
need to touch B!) and then—it will 
re-link the program. All this can be 
done with one mouse click from the 
workbench! For programs consist¬ 
ing of many files, the convenience 
is very, very significant. 

Promake will work with all Pro¬ 
spero languages. It is even more 
general; the update operations are 
not limited to compiling and linking. 

1 have used Promake with the 
Public Domain document formatter, 
PROFF, when my document heavily 
depended on nested INCLUDE 
files. 

One remark: make utilities hea¬ 
vily access the disk (imagine all 
these comparisons of date stamps 
on files?). Even with a hard drive, 
checking the consistency of a 
library of about 100 modules (with 
no updates) takes three minutes or 
so. A reliable disk cache {Co/dHard 
Cache is my choice) can reduce 
this time very significantly. 

Anyway, 1 am quite happy with 
Promake. It gets the job done 
reliably (if without bells and whis¬ 
tles), and 1 am using it all the time. 

Macro Assembler. 

Do not expect from me an 
expert opinion on this subject. 1 was 
able to re-assemble some VAX- 
to-IEEE number conversion rou¬ 
tines written years ago—without 


Page 70 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 





CN Review 


problems. Combining and modify¬ 
ing some low-level GEM bindings 
from the Prospero libraries did not 
cause any problems either. All this, 
of course, from the workbench 
shell-editor. 

Kuma Resource - Again? 

A few months ago in this 
column I mused about the lack of 
a good RCP for the Atari ST. I was 
hoping Prospero, with their high 
quality standards, would fill this 
gap. Unfortunately, this is not the 
case. 

The RCP included in the Tool¬ 
kit is the well known effort by 
Kuma from Great Britain. The 
Kuma PCS was for some time 
available in the US market; it is 
also bundled with Mark Williams C 
v.3 (with just the logo changed). 
Do not misunderstand me, there is 
nothing really wrong with this pro¬ 
gram, but the user interface is 
quite inconvenient (not to say 
clumsy), and minor irritations pre¬ 
vail at every step. 

Take it or leave it, we have not 
much choice here, as there is 
nothing really good on the market 
(WERCS at least has better docu¬ 
mentation). Many people live hap¬ 
pily ever after with the Kuma RCP. 

I stick to my old, moderately 
buggy, RCS2 from Atari. 

Documentation. 

The documentation consists of 
one volume, a total of about 120 
pages. It is quite adequate, if 
nothing to write home about. The 
documentation supplied with Pro¬ 
spero languages was significantly 
better. The macro assembler sec¬ 
tion is very skimpy, and so is the 
section on the resource construc¬ 
tion program. Sure, I was able to 
find things I needed (there weren’t 
many, the programs are fairly sim¬ 
ple to operate), but I would expect 
a better effort from a software 
publisher as dependable as Pro¬ 
spero. 


The package also contains the 
updated librarian and the .TTP 
(stand-alone, as opposed to 
overlayed) version of Prospero 
linker. The .TTP programs are 
used from the command line 
interpreter (or from Promake ), 
while the workbench uses the 
smaller .OVL versions. The newest 
updates of Prospero languages 
($10 and original disks) contain 
also the .TTP versions of com¬ 
pilers, necessary to work with 
Promake. 

Those of us who use floppy- 
based systems for program deve¬ 
lopment may want to use the 
Public Domain compression utility, 
PACKer, to reduce the size of all 
.PRG, .TOS, .TTP and .OVL (yes!) 
files on their system disks, espe¬ 
cially if they are going to use both 
versions of the compiler and lin¬ 
ker. PACKer will, of course, save 
also a lot of space on your hard 
drives. All Prospero programs 
work fine in the packed versions. 

The Bottom Line. 

If I do not sound too enthu¬ 
siastic in this review, this may be 
because of my raised expec¬ 
tations. After all, all programs work 
as advertised and in spite of all 
my reservations I consider the 
Toolkit to be a good investment. 
The price is quite moderate, taking 
into account the goodies included 
into the package. 

I can recommend the Pro¬ 
spero Developers Toolkit to 
any intermediate-to-serious 
programmer using one or 
more of the Prospero 
languages. I also hope that Pro¬ 
spero will keep improving it with 
time. 

Prospero Software, 100 Commer¬ 
cial St., Suite 306, Portland, ME 
04/01; (207)874-0382. 


Construction 

Estimator 



Construction Estimator 2.0 

Very easy to use, make estimates for 
house, driveway, small building etc. 

Creates quantity and cost totals 

Functions include: footings, stem wall, 
floor slab, blockwall, rebar, ceiling and 
floor joist, woodwalls, floor and roof 
sheeting, cut & stack roof, sheetrock, 
roofing, soil excavation (basement & 
trench) 

ASCII file^ave & load. Also creates 
LDW Power compatible files so you can 
use a spreadsheet to further modify 
your estimate. 

$39.95 

Michael C. O’Massey 
9910 U.S. 395 north 
Reno Nevada 89506 
(702)972-3659 


ONE F° 

fill 

MICE 

$ 35.00 

A&AGIC 

Microswitch Joysticks 

ONLY $10.00 

One Stop . W 

All Kinds Of Good Stuff For Your ST 

(217)337-0802 

30 Day Money Back Guarantee 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 71 





Current Notes ST Public Domain Library 


Disks listed by month of introduc¬ 
tion . See page 74 for ordering 
information. 

June 1989 

#327D: Sonus Superscore Demo. Demo 
version of MIDI sequencing and scoring 
software packages, 1Mb, Mono. 

#328D: GENIE ST Roundtable Data¬ 
base, by Library/Topic. 

#329D: GENIE ST Roundtable Data¬ 
base, by File Number. These two disks 
contain complete database of ST files avail- 
- able within the ST roundtable as of June 1989. 
Program includes variety of search options. 
#330D-#335D: Seeker Bible Search 
Program. 6 disk set has KJ version of bible 
plus program tohelp you find any word or 
phrase you choose. 

#336: BSTAT Statistical Graphics Pro¬ 
gram. In a beta test state, quite complex and 
contains virtually any statistical function you 
might need. 

#337: Graphics Demos, an assortment of 
A VS demos and a Cyber animation demo: 
Bugs Bunny, spaceship gettting hit with lazer 
blasts, four cylinder Honda engine cutaway, 
color only. 

#338: Micro-EMACS. Ver3.10. latest ver¬ 
sion of popular text editing program now 
provides ’some’ mouse support. Complete 
manual, help file, and text files on disk. 

#339: Extensor. Game based on the 
LIGHT CYCLE sequence in the movie TRON. 
Color or mono. 

#340: Disk Label Programs. Over a 
dozen different label maker programs from 
standard mailing labels to labels for diskettes, 
file folders, casette tapes, or report covers. 
#341: Print Master Utilities: PM_2_DEG, 
saves PM icons in Degas format. PS_2_PM, 
converts Print Shop to Print Master. Borders: 
REWVOL1, DINOREW, REWART1, CUSTOM, 
ICON1. 

#343: Utilities No. 29: DISSASSM, 
DCOPY312, MYSTIC, MACCEL, RATEHD, 
HEADST10, GIFNEO, RAMBABY. 

#344: Utilities No. 30. ACC.PRG, 
DCFORACC, DCFRM301, QUICKUTL, 
QMENU2, QFIND, QUIKME, QUICKST 0.81, 
QINDEX, SCRNSAVE.PRG, SUPRBT55. 

July/August 1989 

#345: Berthold Pics No. 1. 8 exciting 
Spectrum pics from John Berthold: Anasazl, 
Blokblos, Duckneuv, Explore, Moonfest, Out¬ 
back, Philtoo, Scape3c and spslide.prg. 

#346: Spectrum 512 Utilities. SPCPRINT 
(print Spectrum pictures directly to printer, 
color or black-and-white), SPCCONVR (con¬ 
vert Spectrum 512 pictures to Degas PI1), 
SPCVIEW (GFA Basic program to view Spec¬ 
trum 512 pictures). Disk includes three pic¬ 
tures: laserbee, madonna, and redarrow. 
#347: MOTerm Elite 1.41. The Ultimate 
Telecom Package for the ST, by Doug 
Johnson. Features many things that no other 
terminal packages contain, including medium 
or high resolution graphics which can be 
exchanged over the modem automatically, 
sound that can be transferred online, a new 
file transfer protocol called Dmodem that is 


faster and more accurate than Xmodem, built 
in text editor for editing of information 
captured off of a modem or other files, an 
automatic dialer that will dial phone numbers 
while you do something else within the 
program, the fastest Xmdoem file transfer 
routines yet available for the ST, and much 
more. Requires 1 Mb. 

#348: Game Disk No. 18. Companion 1, 
color arcade action as you fly your ROCM, 
and Trivia Quiz, test your knowledge against 
the computer or other players. (C) 

#349: XFORMER Programs No. 1. In¬ 
cludes Analog 35, 38, 41, 44. These are the 
Analog 8-bit disks converted to ST format for 
use with Xformer. Xformer is the Atari 8-bit 
emulator. (CN #263: ST XFORMER now has 
version 2.4) 

#350: XFORMER Programs No. 2. In¬ 
cludes Analog 47, 50, and 55. More Analog 
8-bit disks converted to ST format for use 
with Xformer, the Atari 8-bit emulator. 

#351: Publishing Partner Utilities No. 
3. 18 fonts for use with Publishing Partner: 
Binner, Blockup, Cyrillic, Futura Bold Con¬ 
densed, Futura Block, Keyboard, Gothic, 
Lubalin, Old English, Oriental, Segment, 
Spokane, Stop, Timebold, Tyme/Helv, 
University, and Wilkes. 

#352: Graphic Utilities. Metaview Prg/Acc 
by Ric Clayton. Program allows you to view 
GEM Metafiles in standard GEM windows. 
(Metafiles are files with a .GEM extension 
such as those produced by EasyDraw and 
GEM-Draw.) Will display any GEM Metafile, in 
any resolution, with or without GDOS instal¬ 
led, and (hopefully) run on any version of 
TOS. Image Editor DA V0.65 Demo by Mike 
Bergman (mono only), a tool to edit mono¬ 
chrome .IMG files for desktop publishing and 
related activities. Deluxe Slideshow V2.0, by 
John Brochu, combines all the currently 
popular ST graphics formats (Neochrome, 
Degas, Degas compressed, Tiny, and Spec¬ 
trum) into one compact, but flexible slide 
show program. IMG Show, by Migraph, allows 
viewing of monochrome .IMG files on any 
resolution ST (low, med, hi, & Viking 1). Art 
Gallery, by Charles F. Johnson, shows Degas, 
Degas Elite compressed, Neo and Tiny pic¬ 
tures. ST Banner, print large banners out of 
small letters on your printers. Also Degas- 
nap.prg and Snapshot.acc. 

#353: Print Master Icons No. 3. Collect 
1,2,3,4. A collection of 479 icons for use with 
Print Master. 

#354: Print Master Icons No. 4. Collect 
5,6,7. A collection of 470 more icons for use 
with Print Master. 

#355: IMG Mortised Cuts. 19 IMG pic¬ 
tures: angel, artist, backsign, dinner, dog, 
dragon, elf, frntsign, jackbox, jester, mirror, 
paperboy, shipl, ship2, train, trumpet, two 
elves, umbrella, wide man. 

#356: Bolo. Discontinued. 

September 1989 

#357: PageStream Fonts No. 1. An 

assortment of DEMO fonts available for 
PageStream. Note: these demos do not 
include the entire alphabet. Anglo, Opt, Type¬ 
writer, Downtown, Handwriting, Rock, Begin¬ 
nings, Brushup, Karin ... +24 more fonts. 


#358: Calamus Fonts No. 1. 15 complete 
fonts for Calamus. Chancery, Cursive, Con¬ 
densed Cursive, Gillia, Gilly, Revue, Savings, 
Souvenir Medium, Souvenir Med Italic, Spok¬ 
ane, Study, Study Cond., Windy. 

#359: Pentimo. This is a terrific puzzle 
game that will provide you with hours of 
entertainment. Place 12 pieces in box. Many 
variations, 100s of solutions, but try and find 
one! (M) 

#360: Bermuda Race II. A racing simula¬ 
tion game. You have to learn the ins and outs 
of sailing to win this race. (C/M) 

#361: Game Disk No. 19. Two arcade 
clones: Rocket Patrol (like Missile Command) 
and Trifide (like Galaxian). (C) 

#362: A Dudley Dilemma. An AGT Adven¬ 
ture, by Lane Barrow. In this game, you play 
the role of a Harvard University student living 
in Dudley House in his/her quest for know¬ 
ledge, adventure and a diploma. This award 
winning game is a very clever, humorous and 
challenging adventure in the classic style of 
Infocom. (C/M) 

#363: Tark, Priestess of the first church, in 
her battle against the demon of dark desire, 
an AGT adventure by Philip Kegelmeyer. An 
extremely well written game based on a 
“Dungeons and Dragons” theme (complete 
with spells and hit points) where you play a 
priestess struggling against the forces of evil. 
(C/M) 

#364: Rapture and Susan(R). Two more 
AGT adventures: Love’s Fiery Rapture, by 
Natasha Mirage. A torrid tale of what could 
turn out to be THE perfect date. A parody(?) 
of romance novels like those published by 
Harlequin. This game demonstrates a very 
clever way to translate a “Choose Your Own 
Adventure” style game into an AGT game. 
Susan, A Lustful Game, By Bill Larkins. You 
attempt to score points with your girlfriend, 
Susan. R-rated game for adults only. (C/M) 
#365: Ring & Pork. Two more AGT adven¬ 
tures: Des Ring DesNibelungen, by Michael R. 
Harris. You play the role of Siegfried in an 
adventure based on the operas of Richard 
Wagner-complete with a very tender and 
loving Brunnhilde. A very unusual approach to 
an adventure game. PORK, by David Malm- 
berg. 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. (C/M) 

#366: The Adventure Game Toolkit 
(AGT) A shareware product that lets you 
construct your own adventure games. Com¬ 
plete Docs included. Adventure games above 
are all compiled versions of games created 
with AGT. Programs on disk are ARC’d. (C/M) 
#367: AGT Source Code. Includes 
(ARC’d) the source code to 9 additional AGT 
adventures: Colossal Cave Adventure, Cru¬ 
sade, Elf’s Adventure, A Fable, Ghost Town, 
Paranoia, Odieu’s Quest, The Squynchia 
Adventure, An Underground Adventure. 
#368D: VIDI-ST No. 1. Two VIDI-ST digit¬ 
ized animation sequences of a dunk shot and 
a pitch. Requires 1Mb. DS-disk (C) 

#369D: VIDI-ST No. 2. A VIDI-ST digitized 
animation, star basketball player (V. Johnson) 
shooting a basket. Requires 1 MB DS-disk 
(C). 


Page 72 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 





Current Notes ST Public Domain Library 


October 1989 

#370: NORAD. Watch your screen as 97 
satellites and meteors trace out their paths on 
your montior. 

#371: Berthold's Pics No. 2. A second 
disk of 8 terrific Spectrum pictures by John 
Berthold. The Legend of the Lost Fuji, Msiau 
Chou Descending Into the Mist, Fantasy 
Figure 3, The Escape of Princess Mon-Haat, 
Skate Riguel, The Story Teller, Eilean Donan 
Castle-Scotland, Vlacherna Convent-Greece. 
(Color) 

#372: Magniwriter ST. (See CN#401) 
#373: Strip Breakout (R). Breakout game 
with a new twist. Breaking the bricks reveals 
picture underneath. 27 screens. Adults only. 
(Color). 

#374: Codehead/C.F. Johnson Utility 
Collection. Collection of shareware pro¬ 
ducts and three demos of commercial pro¬ 
ducts from Codehead Software and C.F. 
Johnson. Includes Little Green File Selector 
vl.4, Pinhead vl.3 and more. 

#375: Darek Mihocka Utility Collection. 
The complete collection of Darek’s ‘Quick’ 
utilities (Quick ST to compete against Turbo 
ST, Quick Index to measure your ST’s perfor¬ 
mance are among the ‘Quick’utilities)as well 
as his Megablit paint program and Megawatt 
accessory. 

#376: NeoDesk Icon Collection. A col¬ 
lection of 31 icon files for use with NeoDesk 
2.0. Includes NeoDesk demo program. Files 
are ARC’d. 

#377: Official Atari Utilities Disk. In¬ 
cludes Atari’s latest Hard Disk utilities and 
booter (version 3.01) which allows more than 
4 partitions and partition sizes of up to 1 
gigabyte. Also included is the complete set of 
the ‘official’ Atari Rainbow TOS utilities and 
patches. (Rainbow TOS is the name for TOS 
1.4). Includes the Hard Disk Ship ACC, Mouse 
Accelerator II and more. 

#378: ELAN 1.5. Another nice programming 
language environment from The Neatherlands 
with sample source code and documentation 
in TEX format. 

#379: Utility Disk #31, Disk Utilities. 
DCOPY 3.2A—the latest version of this terrific 
all around utility. DISKVFY—verifies a disk to 
find the bad spots on a disk. FLOORMT2- 
-Floormatter is a nice formatting program that 
runs in low resolutiuon. GEMLABEL—version 
3 of a nice GEM based labeling program. 
ACK2PRG—an updated version of a program 
that shrinks the sizes of executable programs. 

November 1989 

#380: The Revolution Handbook. By 

Donald A. Thomas, Jr., 1989 ARTISAN SOFT¬ 
WARE, this ‘handbook’ comes with a viewer 
program that allows you to browse through 
the handbook on the screen. 

#381: VanTerm Version 3.8! VanTerm is a 
full-featured terminal program for the Atari ST 
(c) 1987 by Wm. A. Van Nest, Sr. Besides the 
main VanTerm program (and its associated 
configuration and help files), this disk also 
includes DCOPY32.PRG (current version of 
DCOPY) - DCOPY is faster than ARC, com¬ 
presses more than ARC, has all the ARC 
functions of ARCSHL, plus it formats disk¬ 
ettes, prints file, reformats files of many 


types, and more! (NOTE: this update replaces 
the earlier version, #265. Send in your original 
#265 and $1, and CN will be happy to update 
your copy.) 

#382: SUBCAL, Version 1.14. This is a 
new, improved and expanded version of 
SubCal. SubCal is a calculator with many, 
many extras. It will compute arithmetic 
expressions entered in a human-readable 
form and will also compute definite integrals, 
derivatives or solve equations. It will also 
solve polynomial equations up to the second 
degree. A simple plotting feature is included 
as well. The new Sub Cal also allows for 
vector and matrix operations (including solv¬ 
ing of linear equation systems). (NOTE: this 
update replaces #322. Send in your original 
#322 and $1, and CN will be happy to update 
your copy.) 

#383: The American PaSTime Baseball 
Simulator, Demo Game Program - 

V2.00D, October, 1989. The American PaS¬ 
Time Baseball Simulator provides a very rich 
and accurate simulation of the game of 
baseball, from the viewpoint 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. 

#384: Geography Tutor Demo. Demo 
version of the program, only the data base 
and map for EUROPE can be loaded. Save 
functions have also been disabled. Disk 
includes data base of useful facts concerning 
each European country. Not only can you 
view these facts, but you can plot them on 
the maps. You can also compare countries, 
search facts to be plotted, order lists alpha¬ 
betically or by size etc.. 

Also included is a Reader Program 
designed to help you read any text file. It lets 
your screen behave as a printed page. You 
can change to the next or previous page or 
flip to a page of your choice. You can also: 
search for text strings, show a table of 
contents, print any part of the text with 
references and notes, and save your print 
selection to disk or printer or both. 

#385: Double Click Software Share¬ 
ware Sampler Disk. DC FORMATTER 3.02- 
-formatting program with a host of useful 
options. MYSTIC FORMATTER 1.0—formatter 
in desk accessory format. DC XTRACT- 
-extract programs from ARC files. DC CLOCK 
V3.3—places time clock in upper right corner 
of screen. DC DESKEY VI.0—a desktop menu 
selector using keystrokes. DC STUFFER V0.9- 
-load in up to 32 desk accessories (DAs) into 
GEM. 

#386D: JIL2D(tm) Shareware Drafting 
Package. A valuable drafting tool: you can 
create, measure, dimension, save, and restore 
drawings using JIL’s unique interface. You can 
also make and use screen dumps, figure 
libraries, and parametric macros, just to name 
a few applications. System requirements: 
monochrome ONLY, DS, at least 1 Mb of ram. 
Includes MONOVIEW.PRG: (a short slide 
show presentation of the JILCAD system 
components.) 

#387: Empire Map Collection. A collec¬ 
tion of ALL of the maps for Empire we’ve 
been able to find—over 120 maps in all. This 


disk does require the game Empire from 
Interstel to be useful. 

#388: Breach Scenario Collection. A 

collection of many Breach scenarios, Breach 
Cheat 2, and a squad leader editor. In order to 
fit this collection on one disk the scenarios 
are ARC’ed but ARC.TTP and ARC Shell II v2.0 
are provided to extract the files. 

#389: Game Disk #20: Star Trek. STOS 
variation of the Star Trek game. This game will 
NOT run on machines with TOS 1.4 installed! 
#390D: Game Disk #21: Pile-Up. A 
STOS variation of the Russian game of Tetris. 
This game is on a DS disk and will NOT run 
on machines with TOS 1.4 installed. 

#391: Game Disk #22: Super Breakout. 
A very nice variation of Breakout with an 
editor. Requires a monochrome monitor and 
it DOES work with TOS 1.4. 

#392D: Spectrum Pics No. 6: People. 17 
Spectrum pictures (Alf, Anticad, Bladel, 
Clown, Donnaric, Ellen, Girl, Headroom, 
Kissme, Lady clr, Laura, Lisaw, Madonna, 
Match5, Sam4, Samfoxl, Terri. 

#393D: Spectrum Pics No. 7: Space. 20 
Spectrum pictures (Aliennat, Callisto, Deth- 
star, Earth, Faces, FinhornS, Glass, Juggy, 
Jupiter, Laserbee, Launch, Newtek, Outblue, 
Prism, Stardest, Timextal, Trek, Trontank, 
Voyager. 

#394D: Spectrum Pictures No. 8: Cars 

and more. 18 Spectrum pictures (Appleton, 
Cobra, Convert, Decoy, Ferrari, Homer, Lily- 
pond, Magnum, Mansion, Mazda,Ninja, 
Porsche, Redrx7, Redwing, Ship, Taxi, Tut, 
Tutmirr2. 

December 1989 

#395D-#399D: The TeX Distribution. 

Compiled by Horace Mitchell. TeX system 
requirements: 1Mb memory, double-sided 
drive. The TeX Distribution has a core of four 
double-sided disks and a fifth DS utility disk. 
These disks replace the earlier CN TeX release 
(#309D, #310D, and #31 ID). Send in your 
earlier three disks and we will be glad to 
replace them with #395, #396, and #397 for 
$1 each. 

#395D: TEX, and #396D: DRIVERS. 

Disks 1 and 2 contain the files for running TeX 
(and LaTeX) and for printing TeX documents 
respectively. These two disks are sufficient for 
trying out TeX. However, there are NOT 
enough font files included on Disk 2 for a 
complete implementation of TeX. Note also 
that Disk 1 (#395) includes the 200 compac¬ 
tion program needed to uncompact the files 
provided on all five disks in the set. 

#397D: METAFONT. Disk 3 contains the 
font generation program METAFONT, which 
can create any font that the printer drivers on 
Disk 2 need. 

#398D: INITEX. iniTeX, a program for 
customizing TeX plus the slide maker SliTeX 
and the bibliography database BibTeX. 
#399D: PICTEX. PiCTeX—a set of TeX 
macros designed for the creation of figures 
and graphs within TeX documents. MuTeX—a 
set of TeX macros and fonts for typesetting 
music scores. INPUT2 archive contains vari¬ 
ous style files for LaTeX that are not part of 
the standard style set described in the LaTeX 
manual. 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 73 



Current Notes ST Public Domain Library 


#400: GFA Tutorial. NOT a tutorial for 
those of you already familiar with GFA Basic. 
Just a plain and simple guide from square 
one for learning the use of GFA. 

#401: ST WRITER V3.4. Latest version of 
this excellent word processor by Dr. Bruce 
Noonan. Disk includes English, Spanish, 
German, and MagniWriter versions, all 
updated to version 3.4. 

#402: Construction Estimator VI. 8 . Use 

this program to help you estimate the quan¬ 
tity and cost of materials for various building 
projects. 

#403: Utility Disk #32. (Color) Note, 
CHEETAHC, GEMRED, and SPEEDRDR also 
work in monochrome and are on the mono 
utilities disk (#404). CHEETAHC—handy pro¬ 
gram for copying multiple files from one place 
to another. GEMRED—redirects the output of 
programs such as screen output to a printer 
or file. ADBASE14—an address database 
program. DSKCHART—displays a chart of 
disk usage. FFIND12—a disk library program. 
SPEEDRDR—improve your speed reading. 
#404: Utility Disk #33. (Monochrome) 
PUBPAINT—a pd paint program from Ger¬ 
many—docs are in German. CHEETAHC- 
-handy program for copying multiple files 
from one place to another. GEMRED— 
redirects the output of programs such as 
screen output to a printer or file. SPEEDRDR- 
-improve your speed reading.Note CHEE¬ 
TAHC, GEMRED, and SPEEDRDR also work 
on Color and are on #403. 

#405: DeskJet Utilities & Drivers. 
ADDRESS2—Programs to address envelopes 
with the HP DeskJet. COMPACT—a very 
handy program for hard drive users to print 
out directories on a DJ at 20 cpi (this program 
also works with Epson compatible printers 
using superscript). DESKJET.CFG—Word 
Writer ST driver for the DeskJet. DJETBOOT- 
-if the DeskJet is online when the system is 
booted with this program in the AUTO folder, 
then it will set the DJ to draft mode. 
DJDEGAS—a program to print any DEGAS 
.PI? picture on an HP DeskJet. DVI_DJ—DVI 
output driver for the DeskJet and TeX. 
EPS JET—not a great DJ driver but a workable 
one to give graphics output comparable to an 
Epson MX-80. FS DJET—a DJ driver for 
installation within Fleet Street Publisher v2.0. 
HPDSKJET—DeskJet printer driver for use 
with First Word Plus. JETLAB11—a labelling 
program for use with the HP printers that 
supports two label sizes and has several nice 
features. JETSET—an accessory to allow 
easy configuration of the HP DJ. LASERJET- 
-downloads softfonts to either a DeskJet or a 
LaserJet. P OR SAV—two variations of a 
program (one for DeskJet owners) that allows 
one to print or save a screen in an average of 
3 sec. SHTPDJ—printer control file for using 
an HP DJ with Sheet. SHTPDJP—printer 
control file for using a DeskJet Plus with 
Sheet. STWHPDJ—ST Writer printer driver 
for the DJ internal ffonts. TESTFONT—two 
test softfonts for the DeskJet (Candyland and 
Camelot). 

#406: Utility Disk #34. There are three 
utilities that work in both color and mono¬ 
chrome on this disk: ASSASSIN—a great help 
in simplifying the modification of GDOS 


ASSIGN.SYS files; BOOSTV09—a beta version 
of a program that works very well in allowing 
one to select which programs and DESK- 
TOP.INF files are used at bootup; DESK 
MANAGER v2.7—another update to another 
great program from C.F. Johnson and pro¬ 
vides a GEM interface for the user to select 
various bootup options. 

#407: SHEET Demo. SHEET is a 4-in-1 
integrated package. It is a spreadsheet pro¬ 
gram, database manager, charting program 
and BASIC interpreter. The charting program 
can generate graphs on screen. If you have 
GDOS installed, you can set the output to 
meta-file or printer. The charting program can 
also generate BASIC commands for drawing 
the graph. The demo version has Save and 
Load WKS disabled. 

#408: Ani ST. (Color) By Jim Kent, Program 
Copyright Dancing Flame, 1987. Documen¬ 
tation Copyright Antic Publishing 1989. This 
program and documentation may be freely 
distributed. You may be familiar with the 
program previously marketed by Aegis as 
Aegis Animator. Jim Kent, who wrote the 
program, has received the rights to it back 
from Aegis. Citing an inability for people to 
find the program, he has entered it in the 
shareware market under the new name Ani 
ST. The suggested contribution is a smile. 
The only change made in the program is a fix 
to a problem the program had running with 
GDOS. A color monitor is required. 

Ani ST excels in what is known as 
metamorphic polygon animation (polymor¬ 
phic for short). In this type of animation you 
draw an initial shape and move it into another 
shape. The computer generates the in-bet¬ 
ween shapes automatically. You can do this 
over a painted (.NEO or .PI1) background or 
you can cut out pieces of a picture (CEL’s 
and MSK’s) to move along a path, color cycle 
the result, then fade to black as the polygons 
shrink in the distance. 

#409D: CYBER ANIMATIONS: VISITOR 
& FROGGIE. VISITOR is a 230-frame, 15- 
second loop animation in the Cyber Paint 
.SEQ format. It was produced with CAD-3D 
2.0 and the Cyber Control language with 
image processing in Cyber Paint. 

January/February 1990 

#410 Spectrum Color Clip Art. This clip 
art, by Steve Marshall, is designed to allow 
Spectrum users to add detailed figures to 
their own creations. Includes Animals 1,2,3, 
Citybld, Country, Mountains, Skies, Trees, 
Western 1,2, and Vehicles. Also includes three 
sample complete pictures: Meadow, Street, 
Scenel. (C) 

#411: SpiritWare Concordance, V2.0, A 

Bible study tool that makes maximum use of 
mouse, windows, and menu capabilities of 
GEM to provide user with a fast, easy and 
powerful way to access words and phrases 
that appear in the scriptures. Includes text 
from Romans 1 through Philemon I. Color or 
Mono, requires 1Mb. 

#412: File Compression Utilities. ARC 

6.01— MUCH faster version of ARC. ARC- 
SHELL 2.1— GEM shell for both LZH and ARC 
makes it much easier to use compression 
utilities. LHARC 51— slower than ARC but 


produces smaller files. ARC<->L2H—converts 
ARC files to LZH or LZH files to ARC. 

#413: Utility Disk No. 35. CHECK 1A— 
basic system check for color STs, does 
memory checks, shows memory sizes, drive 
and printer status, and checks video and 
audio hardware. CHEETAH2—very fast file 
copier, great for moving files across hard 
drive partitions. Works with floppy drives as 
well. TRASHCAN—a Neodesk accessory, a 
recoverable trashcan gives Nel-desk a trash 
can that can be opened and files un-deleted 
even after writing to disk or rebooting. DIARY 
1.7—full features text editor as a desk acces¬ 
sory. 

#414: utility Disk No. 36. DC SHOWIT- 
-complete replacement for GEM show rou¬ 
tine. views text files and uncompressed Neo 
and Degas pics. STARSTRK—screen saver, 
fills screen with moving stars. LGSELECT16B- 
-latest version of little green item selector by 
Charles F. Johnson. SUPERBOOT 6.0—Allows 
user to configure auto program, desk acces¬ 
sory, desktop information files, assign system 
files and much more before machine boots. 
Now works properly with TOS 1.4. SWITCH 
630—allows Atari laser printer users to shut 
Diablo emulator on and off freeing printer 
port. 

#415: How to do Hardware Mods. Con¬ 
tains various text files for those who like to 
modify their hardware. 25MGUM—how to 
upgrade a 520ST to 2.5MB or 4MB, plus 
programs to test the upgrades. MEGA2T04- 
-How to upgrade a Mega2 to 4 MB. TOS14- 
-How to install TOS 1.4 6 chip set in a Mega 
ST. BLITZ—make your own analog disk 
copier. BLITTER UPGRADE—how to add a 
blitter to your rev B motherboard. 

#416: Clip Art and Time Works Bor¬ 
ders. four houses in GEM format, 5 houses 
in PI2 Degas format, 1 Atari Logo in GEM 
format, 10 borders in Timeworks DTP format, 
and 4 IMG pictures of dragons and wolves. 
#417D: Saturn. Spectrum animation of 
Saturn. Requires 1 MB memory, color, and 
double-sided disk. 

#418D: Sequence Files. Three anima¬ 
tions: SKULL sequence—skull done with rez 
render. DALEK—animated Dalek from Dr. 
Who science fiction series. ZNETART—Z-Net 
logo bouncing off mirrored walls. Includes 
Animate4 sequence file player. 1 Mb required, 
DS drive. 

#419: Game Disk No. 23. (Color): BLAS¬ 
TER—fast defender-like game. INVADERS- 
-very hard variation of an arcade classic. 
ST-TETRIS—variation on Tetris game.. 


Order disks from CN Library, 
122 N. Johnson Rd, Sterling, VA 
22170. Disks are $4.00 each. 
Add $1/(6 disks) for S&H up to a 
max of $6.00. Quantity discounts: 

10 disks for $35 

35 disks for $100 

50 disks for $150 


Page 74 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 





Current Notes Spectre Public Domain Library 


These disks contain Mac programs for use 
with the SPECTRE Macintosh emulator. Disks 
are $4 ea (10 for $35). Order from CN Library, 
122 N. Johnson Rd, Sterling, VA 22170. Add 
$1 for every 6 disks for S&H. A “D n next to 
the disk number, indicates a “double-sided” 
disk, e.g. S3D. (Disks require 128K ROMS) 

SI: MacWrite 5.0 Demo— (Cannot print/ 
save but can load and read doc files.) 

S2: MacPaint 2.0 Demo— (Cannot print/ 
save files but can load, view & create them.) 
S3D: Red Ryder 9.4— Powerful telecom¬ 
munications program. Docs, utilities included. 
S4D: Aldus Freehand Demo— A Video¬ 
works II interactive demonstration of Free¬ 
hand drawing program. 

S5: Games #1— Banzai, Monopoly 4.0, 
ATC 4.0, Mines, New Daleks, Brickies 4.0 
S6D: PowerPoint Demo— (64K ROMs 
Compatible) Fully working demo version of 
this popular Mac program for planning, com¬ 
posing, and creating complete presentations. 
S7: Games #2— Space Bubbles, Stratego, 
Investigator #1, Towers of Hanoi, Marienbad. 
S8: Image Studio Demo— (Does not 
save) A photo retouching lab, modify digit¬ 
ized images in 65 grey scale levels. 

S9: Telecom #1— Stuff It 1.51, Stuff It Users 
Guide, Freeterm 2.0, Freeterm 2.0 Documen¬ 
tation, TermWorks 1.3, Packet III ver 1.3. 
S10D: Stacks #1— Concentration, Hyper- 
Gunshy, Dinosaurs, AutoStack, Home 1.2. 
S11: Utilities #1— MacEnvy, Benchmark, 
DiskTimer II, Samplelt 1.21, Samplelt Docs, 
Apfont 3.2, HierDA, Fever, OnCue 1.3 DEmo, 
ScreenDump II, Findsweel 2.0 Demo 
S12D: Full Impact Demo— Great spread¬ 
sheet program. (No save feature.) 

SI 3D: Stacks #2— VisualStack, Chem 
Flash Cards, DisplayPict 1.4, Indigo Gets Out, 
AutCat, Animal Stack, Comic, OnTheBeach, 
Name That Plane. 

S14: Utilities #2—Big Das runner, Mac II 
Icons, DiskParam, Utilities 1.5.1 Guide, Un- 
stuffit DA 1.5.1, Auto Unstuffit Installer 1.5, 
Repair 1.2, ICON Designer, Viewer 1.5.1, 
SuperClock 3.1, SuperClock Doc ToMultiFin- 
der, Interferon 3.1. 

SI 5: Games #3— Darts, MacCamelot, 
BricklesPlus, Gravitation 4.0, Swamplord 
SI6: DAs #1— NekoDA, BezierDa and 
Docs, SnapShotDA 1.2, Adventure, VirusDe- 
tective, BreakKey, SysErrTableDA, PinUp 
Clock DA, Freemem, New Scrapbook DA 
SI 7: Sounds #1— SoundMaster w/22 
sound files for use w/VI.9 of Spectre. 

SI8: Graphics #1— IDmata, DAfx 1.32, 
3dEDIT, Fly Saver, Kaleidoscope, Optical, 
Pattern Blocks, Rae, Turbo View 1.01, Mac¬ 
Paint Shortcuts, Desktop Shortcuts. 

S19D: Hyper Utilities #1— Deprotect 
Stack, XPICT, Moving Cursors Tutorial, But¬ 
ton Manager, Stack Compacter, Field Line 
Numberer, CardMover, Six Little Goodies, MH 
PowerScripts Sample, ShowDialogl.5. 

S20D: MacDraw II Demo— VideoWorks 
format provides tour of latest features. 

S21: Utilities #3— File Scan, Jaws Icon, 
File Master Icon, File Monster Doc, Snapshot 
Installer, Black Hole 6.0.2, Looney Tunes 
Icons, Dog Trash Icon, Shredder Icno, UD SI 
M1.1, Virus RX I.4a2, System Font. Some 
icon files require ResEdit for installation. 

S22: Sword of Siegfried— Graphics/text 
adventure (requires vl .9 of Spectre). 


S23: Sounds #2— Sound files may also be 
used w/SoundMaster on #S17. (10000 Mar¬ 
bles, Any Sound 1, Any Sound 2, Bad Disk 1, 
BVad Disk 2, Beep, Beep Sound 1, Disk 
Sounds 1-4, Don’t Worry Be Happy, Ka- 
Chung!, Rolling Your Own, Type Key 1, Type 
Return 1, Type Space 1.) 

S24: Games #4— Dragon 2, Zoony, 
MazerLazer, and demo of ShufflePuck. 
S25D: MacMoney Demo— Personal 
finance program, prints but does not save. 
S26: Fkeys #1—23 fkeys and fkey related 
applications (Analog Clock, Clock, CopyDisk 
3.0, Craps, F-KEY Installer, FadeKey, 
Filelnfo, fkey, Fkey File Installer, Fkey-DA 
Sampler 2, Fkey View 2.5, FullMoon Calender, 
InfoKey, LaunchKey, MacAlmanac, Pipeline, 
ResCViewer 4.5, SafeLaunch 2.2, Spa- 
ceWarp, StripTease, Unpack, Ver Reader 3.0 
and Windows. 

S27: Games #5—3D Checkers V2.0, Bal¬ 
listics 2.0, Consternation 1.0, HangMan, Peg 
Puzzle Pak, UnBreakout. 

S28: DAtabase Builder Demo— Full fea¬ 
tured database in a Desk Accessory. 

S29: Sounds #3—Talking Moose 1.21 and 
9 sound resources for MacCD (#S23) or 
SoundMaster (#S 17)—Archie, Bad Disk 3, 
Beep Sound 2, Disk Sound 5, Disk Sound 6, 
Key Click 1, Oh Yeaaahh!, Mac Sound 1, and 
Startup Sound 1. 

S30: Utilities #4 —Init Cdev, Assassin, 
BundAid, Curse the Finder, Easy Icon, Finder 
Cursor Icons, Finder Icons, HD Mini-Icon, 
IconManager 1.1, JerryCan, Murphy Init, 
NeVR Init, ScrollMBar CDev, System lcons+, 
Version Sleuth 1.0, What, and Windows. 

S31: DAs #2— Address Book 1.1.2 w/docs, 
Artist-h 2.01 w/docs, Blackjack, Calc 3.0, 
Calendar 1.7, Catch, dCAD 3.0 w/docs, 
Diskinfo 1.2, Maxwell 2.2a, MegaCalculator, 
SuperHelp w/docs, VirusDetective 2.2.1 w/ 
docs, and windows. 

S32: VideoWorks w/Sound —6 VW ani¬ 
mations w/player, sound resources, and 
MacinTalk (1 Mac to go, Apollo, Marbles, 
People Wall, Shortstop, and The Cauldron.) 
S33D: HyperUtilities #2— GetString 
XFCN, HyperScrap, LockField, Pluckstring 
XFCN, Recover, Script Lister, Script Access, 
Stack Analyzer, Stak-X Demo, Unity, Virus 
Encyclopedia, XFCN miscellany, Zoomer 
XCFN). 

S34: Excel Templates #1— Macro, 
Amort, Sch, Apod 1.0, Budget, Checkbook, 
Clock.CH, Clock.MS, Clock.WS, Commands, 
DB.Form, Excel Budget, Expenses, Exps, 
Inc, IRA, Load Calc Master2, Load MaxTime 
2, Matrix, MortAmt.MS 3.0, Replace, Savings 
Account, BioChart, BioRhythm. 

S35D: HyperStacks #3— Atoms, Bird 
Stack II, Helicopter Stack, HyperIRA, Scan 
Stack 3. 

S36: Sounds #4— Includes A Wish, I don’t 
know, I know you are, Mecca jumbi, Need 
Input!, Unacceptable, Ax Headroom, Cheap- 
Beep, Ayaaaah!, Boom!, aooooh, game over 
man, monkey, and vulcan mind. 

S37D: HyperStacks #4— StackArt Vol. 1 
(100 clip art pics). 

S38: Games #6— Cairo Shootout 1.2a, 
Puzzl 1.1, and Stunt Copter 2.0. 

S39: Utilities #5—Init Cdev 2.0, About 
lOnit Cdev 2.0, Moire Cdev, Moire Screen 


Saver Docs, Moire Cdev to Init, Hierda .9983, 
RAM check, SnapJot, SuperClock 3.4, Time¬ 
piece, Virus Detective 3.0.1, Wind Chooser 
1.0.1, Why 1.0.1, QuicKeys demo. 

S40D: HyperUtilities #3— Christopher’s 
XSTAK4, How a Virus Works, IConjurer, and 
Progress XCMD 1.1. 

S41: Productivity #1— Albun Tracker 
2.0.1, Amortize 2.4, Check Book 2.0, Road 
Atlas, and Smallview 1.3. 

S42: Productivity #2— Address List 1.5.2, 
BiPlane 1.0.1 (spreadsheet), Doctor 2.35 
(makes self launching documents), and Mac 
Mailing 1.4S (maillist program). 

#S43: VideoWorks w/Sound #2— Hello 
Amiga, MacPaint Vid, Movies 3, MylstVid, 
Trash, Vamp NY 1, and China Doll. Requires 
V 1.0 or higher of Spectre. 

S44: Utilities #6— Black Box 1.5, Com 
plete Delete, Earth Init, FFDA Sampler, File 
Fixer, IconWrap Init, Macify 2.5, MacSpeed, 
Repair 1.4, Rescue, Scrolling Menu Installer, 
Shredder 6.0, SystemVersion, TextDiff, TFin- 
der 2.2, ToMultifinder 2.3, vaccine 1.01, and 
Version Reader 2.2. 

S45: Graphics #2— MandeIZot 1.4.1, Micro 
Swarm, Notebook 1.0, NoteNote5, Pyre- 
Works, ScanPaint, SelectPaint, ViewPaint 1.7. 
S46: Everyman 1— Graphics/text adven¬ 
ture. Requires VI.9 or higher of Spectre. 
S47D/S48D: Phoenix— interactive adven¬ 
ture game based on the movies 2001 and 
2010. Requires Spectre VI.9 or higher and 2 
DS drives or Hard disk. 

S49: Lawn Zapper— arcade type game. 
(Requires VI.9 or higher of Spectre.) 

S50: Dungeons of Doom, V5.4. Inter¬ 
active adventure game based on Dungeons 
and Dragons. 

S51D: Postscript Fonts #1—11 post¬ 
script fonts: Archimedes Border, Bills’ Ding¬ 
bats, Classic Heavy, Classic Italic, Classic 
Roman, Draftman, Faust, Gordon, Style, Tiny 
Helvetica, and Toulouse Lautrec. 

♦ ♦♦♦♦♦ 

NOTE: The following disks from our library 
of Magic disks for use with the Magic Sac 
Macintosh emulator also work with Spectre. 
M5: Disk Librarian (includes complete 
listing of CN Magic & Spectre libraries), Ml2: 
MacBillBoard, Ml9: Pinball Construction Set 
Games, M29: PCS Games #2 
Adventure Games: Ml7: Dungeons of 
Doom 4.0, M23: Vampire Castle, M24: Deep 
Angst, 1 Mb, M31: Black Wizard, M36: Castle 
of Ert, M40: Hack, Version 1.03, M41: Radical 
Castle, M63D: Mountain of Mayhem, M65D: 
Deep Angst II, M66: Intruder. 

Font Disks: M13: Fonts #1, M14: Fonts #2, 
M16: Fonts #3, M32: Fonts #4, M35: Fonts 
#5, M42: Fonts #6, M44: Fonts #7, M50: 
Fonts #8, M61: Fonts #9, M64: Fonts #10, 
M67: Fonts #11 

Clip Art Disks: M33: Clip Art #1, M52: Clip 
Art #2, M55: Clip Art #3 
Commercial Demos: M37. Mac-A-Mug 
Pro Demo, M38: Video Works Player #1, 
M39: Demo Disk #2: Anatomiser, DeskPaint, 
and SuperPaint, M54: Design Demo Disk, 
M59D: Demo Disk #3: Kaleidagraph, Geo¬ 
graphies II, M62: Demo Disk #4: Math 
Blaster, Blob Manager Demo. 

HyperCard Disks: M48D: HyperStacks #1, 
M49D: HyperStacks #2, M56D: HyperStacks 
#3 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 75 








Members of registered clubs may subscribe to Current Notes at a discount rate ($20/year or $38/2 years). To add your club to the list, send an 
initial subscription list of 10% of the members or 6 members whichever is less, to CN Registered Clubs, 122 N. Johnson Rd., Sterling, VA 22170. 
For more information, call Joyce (703) 450-4761. NOTE: Canadian Atari clubs are also eligible and Canadian club rates are $28/yearor $54/2 years) 


ALABAMA 

Huntsville AUG, Levin Soule, 3911 W. Crest- 
view, Huntsville 35816 (205)534-1815. 

ARIZONA 

Tucson Atari Central, Sam Furrow, 2116 E. 1st 
St,Tucson,85719 (603)323-3410 

ARKANSAS 

Little Rock Atari Addicts, Keith Steensma, 28 
John Hancock Cir, Jacksonville, 72076 (501) 
985-2131. 

CALIFORNIA 

Atari Bay Area Computer Users Society, Bill 
Zinn, PO Box 22212, San Francisco 94122 
(415)753-8483. 

San Diego ACE, Tom Briant, PO Box 203076, 
San Diego 92120 (619)581-2477. 

Santa Maria/Lompac ACE, Mike Jacobson 608 
N. Pierce, Santa Maria 93454 (805) 925-9390. 

CONNECTICUT 

Atari User Group of Greater Hartford, 503-B 
East Center St, Manchester 06040 (203) 

623-8833. 

Dover Users of STs, Al Beddow, 4434 Vermont 
Dr, Dover 19901 (302)697-3830 

ST Atari Road Runners, Glen Werner, 1160 
South Curtis St, Wallingford 06492. 

ST Atari Users Society, Brian Rufini, 176 
Burnside, E. Hartford 06180 (203) 289-7903. 

FLORIDA 

Atari Boosters League East, Hadley Nelson, 
P.O.Box 1172, Winter Park 32790. 

IDAHO 

Rattlesnake Atari Computer Enthusiasts, Bon¬ 
nie Walden, 301 Birch St, Mountain Home, 
83647(208)587-7476 

ILLINOIS 

Central Illinois Atari Users Group, Robert 
Handley, 1920 East Croxton Ave, Blooming¬ 
ton 61701-5702 (309)828-4661. 

Lake County ACE, Dwight Johnson, PO Box 
8788, Waukegan 60079 (312)623-9567. 

ST Information Group, Joe Lambert, P.O. Box 
1242, Peoria, 61654 (309)346-4326. 

INDIANA 

Atari Lovers of Uliana Equaled by None, Jeff 
Coe, 706 Center St., Crown Point, 46307 
(219)663-5117. 

Eli Lilly Corp Center ST Users Group, Karl 
Werner, Eli Lilly Corp Cntr, Indianapolis 46285 
(317)276-3020. 

IOWA 

Midwest Atari Group-lowa Chap, Gordie Meyer, 
PO BOX 1982, Ames 50010 (515) 232-1252. 

KANSAS 

Ft. Leavenworth Atari Group, PO Box 3233, Ft 
Leavenworth 66027. 

Lawrence Atari Comp. Club, Robert Drake, PO 
BOX 1415, Lawrence, 66044 (913)842-5961. 

Wichita ACE, Marilyn Merica, 501 Trotter, Maize 
67101 (316)722-1078. 

KENTUCKY 

Atari Exchange of Louisville, Don Garr, PO Box 
34183, Louisville 40232. 


LOUISIANA 

Only ST Users’ Group, William Sammons, 2144 
Emerson St, Gretna 70056. 

MARYLAND 

Atari Users Regional Assoc, Bill Brown, PO Box 
7761, Silver Spring 20910 (301) 279-7537. 

Frederick Atari Computer Enthusiasts, Buddy 
Smallwood, PO Box 2026, Frederick 21701 
(717)485-4714. 

Maryland Atari Computer Club, James Hill, 8591 
Wheatfield Way, Ellicott City 21043 (301) 
461-7556. 

Meade Atari ST, Bob Johnson, 1616B Forrest 
Ave, Ft. Meade 20755 

Southern Maryland Atari Users Group, San 
Schrinar, 2032 Alehouse Ct, Waldorf 20601 
(301)843-7916. 

MASSACHUSETTS 

Nashoba Valley Atari Computer Users Society, 
Dave Burns, PO Box 456, Maynard 01754. 

MICHIGAN 

Michigan Atari General Information Conference, 
(MAGIC), Mike Lechkun, 4801 Martin Rd, 
Warren 48092-3491. 

MINNESOTA 

SPACE/MAST, James Schulz, PO Box 12016, 
New Brighton 55112 (612)533-4193. 

MISSOURI 

ACE St Louis, Joan Ryan, PO Box 6783, St. 
Louis, MO 63144 (314)645-6431. 

Warrensburg/Whiteman Atari Computer 
Owners, Les Lynam, PO Box 199, Warrens- 
burg 64093 (816)747-2543. 

NEW JERSEY 

Jersey Atari Computer Group, 8 Crescent Rd, 
Pine Brook 07058. 

NEW YORK 

ACE Users Group of Syracuse, Bernice Futter- 
man, PO Box 658, Sylvan Beach 13157 (315) 
762-4878. 

Atari Computer Owners of Rochester NY, Bruce 
Nelson, PO Box 23676, Rochester 14692 (716) 
334-5513. 

Capital District ACE, Joe Bogaard, PO Box 511, 
Delmar 12054 

Rockland Atari Computer Users Group, Richard 
Bloch, 29 Riverglen Dr., Thiells, NY 10984 (914) 
429-5283. 

NORTH CAROLINA 

Blue Ridge Atari Computer Enthusiasts, Bill 
Traughber, 106 Alpine Way, Asheville, NC 
28805 (704)298-0179. 

Charlotte AUG, Joe Venturelli, PO Box 240313, 
Charlotte 28224 (704) 366-4320. 

Peidmont Triad AUG, Nora Schwier, PO Box 
1073, Greensboro,27402(919)674-9196. 

Triangle Computer Club, Donald Nelson, Rt. 3, 
BOX 760, Hillsborough 27278 (919) 942-2764. 

OHIO 

Cleveland ACE, John Savarda, PO Box 93034, 
Cleveland 44101-5034. 

Miami Valley ACE, Bruce Hansford, P.O. Box 
24221, Huber Heights, 45424 (513)439-1993. 


PENNSYLVANIA 

Allentown Bethlehem Easton’s ACE, PO Box 
2830, Lehigh Valley 18001 BBS 215-868- 
4856. 

N. E. Atari Team Users Group, Allan Zaluda, PO 
Box 18150, Philadelphia 19116-0150. 

Spectrum Atari Group of Erie, Earl Hill, PO Box 
10562, Erie 16514 (814)833-4073. 

Southcentral PA ACE, Richard Basso, PO Box 
11446, Harrisburg 17108 (717) 761 -3755. 

SOUTH CAROLINA 

Greenville Atari Computer Enthusiasts, Mary 
Anne Terminato, 19 Alpine Way, Greenville 
29609 (803)292-2690. 

SOUTH DAKOTA 

Rushmore ACE, Gregg Anderson, 3512 
Lawrence Drive, Rapid City, SD 57701 (605) 
348-6331. 

TENNESSEE 

Chattanooga Atari Owners Symposium, Phil 
Snider, PO Box 80101, Chattnooga 37411 

Knoxville AUG, Bill Brosey, 953 Roderick Rd, 
Knoxville 37923 (615) 693-4542. 

TEXAS 

DAL-ACE, Rachel Duke, PO Box 851872, 
Richardson, 75085-1872 (214)429-6134. 

ST Atari League of San Antonio, David St. 
Martin, 3203 Coral Grove Dr, San Antonio 
78247(512)496-5635. 

VIRGINIA 

Greater Richmond Atari Support Program, 
Thomas Marvin, 1420 Yale Ave, Richmond 
23224 (804)233-6155. 

Northern Virginia Atari Users Group, Bonnie 
Little, PO Box 4076, Merrifield 22116 (703) 
444-2419. 

Southside Tidewater Atari Tech Users Society, 
Dick Litchfield, 1805 St. Regis Circle, VA 
Beach 23456 (804) 468-6964. 

Woodbridge Atari Computer Users’ Group, 
David Waalkes, 1302 Oregon Ave, Wood- 
bridge 22191 (703)490-1225. 

WASHINGTON 

Seattle Puget-Sound ACE, Nick Berry, PO Box 
110576, Tacoma 98411 -0576 (206) 759-1473. 

STDIO, Ralph Plaggenburg, 904 N. 33rd PI, 
Renton, 98056 (206) 228-5303. 

WISCONSIN 

Milwaukee Area Atari User’s Group, Dennis 
Wilson, 3301 S. 93rd St, #108, Milwaukee, Wl 
53227(414)546-0282. 

Packerland Atari Computer Users Society, 
Peter Schefsky, 2714 South 11th Place, 
Sheboygan, 53081414-457-4519. 

CANADA 

Montreal Atari Club Atari de Montreal, PO Box 
5418, St. Laurent Station, Ville St. Laurent, 
H4L4Z9 

The Montreal Atari ST/Mega Group, Jonathan 
Seldin, 4235, ave. Wilson, Montreal, Quebec 
H4A2V1 


Page 76 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 















In response to many concerns voiced 
by our customers, we have decided to 
revamp our XL/XE selection of library 
disks. After considering many of the 
options available to us, we have decided 
to start a new XL/Xe library containing 
all new titles and a few old ones all put 
together in a new, consistent format. 
This format means that the disks will be 
easier to use and will contain more 
quality software. 

Due to the amount of work involved 
in releasing fifty new disk titles, the 
new disks will be appearing at a rate of 
hopefully five or six a month. The old 
library will still be available and a list 
may be obtained from the Mail Order 
Librarian. 

To prevent confusion between the 
old and the new libraries please use the 
new three letter and number code to 
identify orders from the new library. 

Attention all programmers! NOVA- 
TARI is always seeking contributions to 
its library. If you’ve written something 
you think others would enjoy using or 
you have something we don’t; by all 
means send it in. Please remember that 
all submissions should be public domain 
or shareware. Disks accepted into the 
library will be exchanged for library 
disks on a one for one basis. Please 
indicate your choices when you send in 
your submissions. Please send your 
submissions to: 

Jeff King, 

10033 Clearfield Ave., 

Vienna, VA 22181 


And now the library: 

DMOI - Classic 8-bit Demos (A collection of 7 demos 
from the early days of Atari.) 

DM02 - 8-bit Graphics Demos (4 of the more recent 8-bit 
demos.) 

DM03 - Video Blitz (130XE Required) (One of best 8-bit 
demos ever released.) 

DM04 - German Sound and Graphics (An excellent art 
and music demo.) 

DOS1 - DOS 2.5 (The standard Atari DOS.) 

DOS2 - Rainbow DOS (An interesting graphics dos.) 

DOS3 - Desktop DOS (A demo of an ST-type desktop for 
the 8-bit.) 

DOS4 - DOS 4.0 (A developemental DOS never officially 
released by Atari.) 

DOS5 - DOS 2.6 (Very similar to DOS 2.5) 

DOS6 - MachDos 3.7a (An Atari DOS alternative.) 

DOS7 - Mydos 4.50 (One of the best Atari DOS substitutes.) 

DOS8 - DOS XE (The DOS released by Atari to provide 
support for the XF551 drive.) 

GRA1 - Video 130XE (Requires a 130XE. An image 
acquisition and processing system. Requires Computereyes to 
acquire images.) 

GRA2 - Video 130XE Images (4 images for use with the 
Video 130XEprogram.) 

UTL1 - Screens (An impressive windowing utility.) 

UTL2 - Help Key Routine (Include the HELP key in your 
own programs.) 

Disks are S3.00 each with $1.00 shipping per 3 disks. 

Send all orders to: 

Thom Parkin, 

701 N. Sterling Blvd., 

Sterling, VA 22170 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 77 






















CURRENT NOTES II989 INDEX 


Atari News/Commentary/ 
Tutorials 

Atari News Stores 

Atari And Disneyland, Ariel.R (Jun, p.67) 

Atari And Its Dealers, Ariel.R (Jun, p.16) 

Atari Enthusiasts In Poland, Amborski.T (Mar, 

p.20) 

Atari Expo In Detroit, Hill.H (Jun, p.66) 

Atari Honcho Reveals Oz Game Plan, Farrar,D 
(Sep, p.27) 

Atari In Berlin, Creighton,J (Mar, p.18) 

Atari In Europe, Update ‘89, Creighton,M (Jul, 
P-34) 

Atari In Israel, Creighton,M (Sep, p.26) 

Atari ST On National TV, Elmore,D (Jun, p.18) 
Atarifest ‘89 - People Power On Target, 
Barnes,J (Sep, p.52) 

Atarifest ‘89: Comdex For The Common Man, 
Barnes,J (Jun, p.67) 

Atarifest 1989, Elmore,D (Nov, p.12) 

Comdex 1989, Goff.R (Dec, p.12) 

How Word Perfect & Atari Saved Our Lives, 
Sommers,F (Jul, p.51) 

List Of Atari Stores, By State, Waters,J (Sep, 
P-06) 

NAMM Show News, Tos 1.4, Whitman,L (Sep, 
P-64) 

PC89: Atari Chief Urges More Choices, 

Macrae,M (Sep, p.27) 

Producing The Fuji-Ya Entry, Frank,D (Nov, 
P-17) 

Summer CES ‘89, Osterman.K (Jul, p.18) 
WAACE Desktop Publishing Contest, Price.W 
(Nov, p.17) 

What Did Atarians Think About The Fest?, 
Waters,J (Nov, p.16) 

World Of Atari-Detroit Edition, McGuire,D 
(Sep, p.18) 

Atari Press Releases 

Atari Introduces Color Entertainment System 
(Jul, p.08) 

Atari Introduces New Calculator Line (Jul, p.10) 
Atari Schedules 20 New Games For Delivery 
(Jul, p.09) 

Portfolio Arrives (Oct, p.05) 

Commentary 

Is This Really Progress?, Barnes,J (Feb, p.54) 
Power Without The Noise, Baggetta.A (Nov, 
P-64) 

Humor 

America’s Stealth Computer, Grace,D (Dec, 
P-66) 

Does Your Computer Have A.I.D.S.?, Grace,D 
(Apr, p-51) 

Interviews 

An Interview With Matt Singer, Hill.H (May, 
P-42) 

Tutorials 

130XE Emulator And Xformer Serial Cable, 
Mihocka.D (Mar, p.70) 

Freeware & Shareware, Mihocka.D (May, p.58) 
Hard Disk Drives, Price.W (Feb, p.22) 


Hard Disk Myths/Mysteries, Troy.D (Oct, p.30) 
Hard Disks: Build It Yourself, Troy.D (Dec, 
P-24) 

Hard Drive Backup Technologies, Barnes,J 
(Dec, p.46) 

Hard Drive Features, Troy.D (Nov, p.31) 

Is My Atari IBM (Mac) Compatible?, Csullog.G 
(Dec, p.18) 

Know Your Clip Art, Rapson.M (Jun, p.52) 

My Compiler Can Beat Your Compiler!, Wrot- 
niak.A (Mar, p.32 

CN Departments 

Editorials (Joe Waters) 

Evolutionary Changes in CN, (Feb, p. 6) 

Atari’s Computer Competition (Mar, p.06) 
Laptops & Integrating PC/Atari Text (Apr, p.06) 
Comdex New Products Recall ‘87 Comdex 
Products (May, p.06) 

Atari and Its Dealers (Jun, p.06) 

Hard Drive Troubles (Jul, p.06) 

New Products Around the Corner (Sep, p.06) 
The Atari Portfolio: A First Look (Oct, p.04) 
Atarifest ‘89, Author of the Year (Nov, p.04) 

An Issue Full of “Specials” (Dec, p.04) 

Junkyard Pussycat (John Barnes) 

Bring Back the Personal Touch (Mar, p.30) 
Little Tidbits to Pass on to Atarians (Apr, p.54) 
Spare Me from the Missionaries (May, p.32) 
Atari Users Unite! (Jun, p.28) 

Living With Your Laser Printer (Jul, p.52) 

The Underdog of the Month (Sep, p.38) 

The Online Confectionery (Oct, p.32) 

A Visit to Santa’s Workshop (Nov, p.24) 

The Life Of A Computer Critic (Dec, p.36) 

Marshall Artist (Steve Marshall) 

The Graphic Arts (Apr, p.36) 

Personal In-Room Comm. (May, p.26) 
Opportunities In Computer Graphics (Jun, 
p.24) 

Prof. World Of Computer Graphics (Jul, p.28) 
Designing And Marketing A Game (Sep, p.32) 
Gift Ideas For The Computer Artist (Nov, p.32) 
Taking a Look at Pixer Fixer (Dec, p.22) 

Atari’s Small Miracles (XL/XE) 

GTIA Test, GTIA2, GTIA3, GTIA4 (Feb, p.63) 
Graphic, Joydraw, GrSText (Mar, p.60) 
Rainbow1,2,3, Graphics (Apr, p.62) 

Stars 3-D, Pattern, Graphics 8 (May, p.65) 
Plane, Pretty, Bassnote (Jun, p.62) 

Brian’s Theme, Bounce, Ball (Jul, p.64) 

Ira Calc,Graphics 9-11,Freakout (Nov, p.44) 
Box10,Trynine,Cnorbit,Cnscroll (Dec, p.64) 

ST Toolbox (J. Andrzej Wrotniak) 

Schopenhauer’s Law Of Entrophy (May, p.20) 
Raising Your Computer Literacy (Jun, p.27) 
Scientific Computing On The ST (Jul, p.40) 
Tempus II; Pinhead, Packer, QS1.45 (Sep, 

P-44) 

TOS 1.4, Copy Protection, Turbo ST 
1.6,QStart1.5 (Oct, p.36) 

Software That Stinks (Nov, p.34) 

Christmas Shopping Spree (Dec, p.28) 


ST Update (Frank Sommers) 

A Year Full of Hope? (Feb, p. 8) 

TV, PostScript, Laptops, Misinformation (Mar, 
P-08) 

A Leaner, Meaner Atari (Apr, p.10) 

Euphoria, Atari Style at Spring Comdex (May, 

p.10) 

Management, Merchandisers, Machines, and 
Marketing (Jun, p.10) 

TOS/TT Mystery, Dealer Frustrations, Portfolio 
(Jul, p.12) 

Satraps, Summer Noises, Re-Aligning Realities 
(Sep, p.12) 

TT’s & STE’s & TOS 1.4’s & Wall Street & Fleet 
Streets (Oct, p.10) 

A Feast at the Fest, the Revolution, Lawsuits 
(Nov, p.08) 

pc-ditto II? TT? STE? Lynx? Portfolio, Comdex 
(Dec, p.08) 

Small World (Dave Small) 

Numbers (Feb, p.18) 

Dear Diary (Mar, p.14) 

The Most Eligible St Bachelors (Apr, p.34) 

Ban Semi-Automatic Computers (May, p.22) 
Unix: Horror Of The Future (Jun, p.36) 

Road Trip (Jul, p.34) 

Hacker Memories (Sep, p.24) 

This And That (Oct, p.14) 

Hacker Time (Nov, p.52) 

ST/Mac Connection (Jeff Greenblatt) 

Spectre 1.75 Released (Feb, p.14) 

Magic/Spectre Tips (Doug Hodson) 

#1: Atari To Macintosh Jump (Mar, p.36) 

#2: The Printer Connection (Apr, p.18) 

#3: Spectre Speaks (May, p.18) 

#4: Bye, Bye Floppy Flipping (Jun, p.20) 

#5: Stuff It Or Pack It! (Jul, p.22) 

#6: Mac Resources, Part 1 (Sep, p.28) 

#7: Mac Resources, Part 2 (Oct, p.18) 

#8: Mac Resources, Part 3 (Nov, p.23) 

#9: Mega ST Shielding Problem (Dec, p.26) 

Starting Block (Richard Gunter) 

Hard Needn’T Be Terrifying (Feb, p.16) 

Painful Necessities (Mar, p.24) 

Managing Your Hard Drive (Apr, p.30) 

My Favorite Utilities (May, p.38) 

Very Local Communications (Jun, p.40) 
Computer Shopping, Part 1 (Jul, p.32) 
Computer Shopping, Part 2 (Sep, p.42) 
Michtron’s Turbo Kit (Oct, p.24) 

Codehead Utilities Disk (Nov, p.18) 

Christmas Gift Ideas (Dec, p.34) 

Stuck in a Rut (“Sam Wright”) 

Intro Column For Adventurers (Feb, p.53) 

The Lurking Horror (Mar, p.28) 

Transylvania (Apr, p.56) 

Uninvited (May, p.36) 

Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking For Love 
(Jun, p.31) 

Talespin (Jul, p.66) 

Deja Vu ll: Lost In Las Vegas (Sep, p.36) 
Adventure Game Toolkit (Nov, p.28) 

Maniac Mansion (Dec, p.31) 


Page 78 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 



There and Back Again (Robert Millard) 

Heroes Of The Lance (Feb, p.56) 

Sinbad And The Throne Of The Falcon (Mar, 
P-26) 

Kings Quest IV (Apr, p.48) 

War In Middle Earth (May, p.30) 

A Murky Crystal Ball (Jun, p.34) 

CES: The Chicago (Big) Blues (Jul, p.20) 
Demon’s Winter (Sep, p.48) 

Deathbringer (Oct, p.20) 

The Troubled Times Of Lore (Nov, p.21) 

Best Of The Quest II - Buyers Guide (Dec, 

P-38) 

XE/XL Update (Len Poggiali) 

SpartaDOS X Arrives, Video Game News (Feb, 
P-12) 

British Titles, Michael Katz Interview (Mar, p.12) 
7800 Game System, New Products (Apr, p.12) 
Is Anything New? Happy Math, Draw7 (May, 
P-14) 

Atarian, Label Master, New Carts at Last (Jun, 
P-14) 

Letters!, AtariwriterSO, Diamond Trouble (Jul, 
P-16) 

Winter Challenge Released, Atarian News 
(Sep, p.16) 

Paperclip 80? Burying Commodore hatchet 
(Oct, p.54) 

XE Upbeat, Looking Back, Diamond News... 
(Dec, p.60) 

Product Reviews 

7800 Game System 

Cracked, Poggiali,L (Nov, p.46) 

Desert Falcon, Poggiali,L (Jul, p.62) 

Hat Trick, Poggiali,L (Nov, p.47) 

Mario Brothers, Poggiali,L (Jul, p.62) 
One-On-One Basketball, Poggiali,L (Jun, p.64) 
Pole Position II, Poggiali,L (Jun, p.64) 

Book Reviews (Hahn.P.) 

Educational Commuting (Nov, p.55) 

Getting Your Words Perfect (May, p.61) 

Writing Better Spreadsheets (Jun, p.56) 

ST Reviews 

Adventure Game Toolkit, Wright,S (Nov, p.28) 
Air Warrier, Heininger,M (Sep, p.58) 

Aladin, V 3.0, Hand,B (Jul, p.46) 

Baal, Sapienza.J (Nov, p.40) 

Battlehawks 1942, Abram,R (Nov, p.42) 
Calamus DTP, Price,W (Mar, p.48) 

Carrier Command, Abram,R (Jun, p.50) 
Codehead Utilities Disk, Gunter,R (Nov, p.18) 
Computer Guide To The Solar System, 

Moes.B (Oct, p.38) 

Construction Estimator, O’Massey (Dec, p.68) 
DBman V, Barnes,J (Apr, p.40) 

Deathbringer, Millard,R (Oct, p.20) 

Demon’s Winter, Millard,R (Sep, p.48) 

Deskjet Revisited - The HP Deskjet Plus, 
Wallace,J (Dec, p.52) 

Devon Aire, Miller,B (Oct, p.46) 

Devpac ST, Eitelman.S (Oct, p.50) 

DynaCadd, Greenblatt.J (Feb, p.32) 

EZ-Grade, Moes.B (Feb, p.48) 

El Cal, Anderson,C (May, p.40) 

Elite, Creighton,M (May, p.48) 


Falcon, Abram,R (Apr, p.38) 

Final Assault, Elmore,D (Apr, p.66) 

Fire Zone, Crook,C (Oct, p.52) 

Flash Cards, Moes.B (Apr, p.43) 

Flexcessory, Maxwell,D (May, p.62) 

Fun For The Young Set: Kid Programs, Miller,B 
(May, p.56) 

Function Z, Rudolph,S (Oct, p.42) 

GFA Class, Speedreader, Assistant Chef, 

Miller,B (Dec, p.70) 

Generation Gap Plus, Ford.R (Mar, p.58) 

Graph Maker, Moes.B (Jul, p.44) 

Hero, Miller,B (Jul, p.38) 

Heroes Of The Lance, Millard,R (Feb, p.56) 
Hisoft Basic, Eitelman.S (Jul, p.48) 
Hole-ln-One Minature Golf, Elmore,D (Jul, 
P-39) 

Home Casino, Elmore,D (May, p.52) 

Jug - The Titanium Man, Sapienza.J (Nov, 

p.62) 

Kidpublisher, Moes.B (Mar, p.56) 

Kidshapes, Moes.B (Mar, p.57) 

Kings Quest IV, Millard,R (Apr, p.48) 

Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking For Love, 
Wright,S (Jun, p.31) 

Lost Dutchman Mine, Elmore,D (Sep, p.50) 
Lost In Las Vegas, Wright,S (Sep, p.36) 

Lurking Horror, The, Wright,S (Mar, p.28) 
Manhunter: New York, Elmore,D (Oct, p.40) 
Maniac Mansion, Wright,S (Dec, p.31) 
Masterlink, Seward,E (Nov, p.56) 

Mega Touch, Abram,R (Sep, p.65) 

Mega Tweety!, Crook,C (Jun, p.47) 

Moniterm Monitor, Johnson,C (Sep, p.62) 
NORAD, Price,W (Oct, p.48) 

NeoDesk V.2, Wrotniak.A (Feb, p.41) 

Orbiter, Abram,R (May, p.54) 

Packer, Wrotniak.A (Sep, p.44) 

PageStream, Anderson,C (Feb, p.45) 
Pagestream Update, Anderson,C (Mar, p.54) 
Pinhead, Wrotniak.A (Sep, p.44) 

Pixer Fixer, Marshall,S (Dec, p.22) 

Populus, Smith,P (Sep, p.66) 

Project Neptune, Elmore,B (Nov, p.61) 
Prospero C Compiler, Wrotniak.A (Apr, p.44) 
Quick Start 1.45, Wrotniak.A (Sep, p.44) 

Quick Start 1.5, Wrotniak.A (Oct, p.36) 

R/C Areochopper And IMG Scan, Lambert,J 
(Feb, p.58) 

ST Word Processors, Wallace,J (Apr, p.28) 
STOSS: The Game Creator, Marshall,S (Mar, 
p.42) 

Sinbad And The Throne Of The Falcon, Mil¬ 
lard,R (Mar, p.26) 

Sky Map, Moes.B (Oct, p.39) 

Sonus Superscore, Whitman,L (Jun, p.60) 
Space Station Oblivion, Sommers IV,F (Feb, 
p.52) 

Spitfire 40, Abram,R (Mar, p.46) 

Starglider II, Gunter,R (Feb, p.50) 

Stellar Crusade, Creighton,M (Jun, p.42) 
Syquest 44 Mb Removable Cartridge HD, 
Barnes,J (Oct, p.28) 

TOS 1.4, Wrotniak.A (Oct, p.36) 

Talespin, Wright,S (Jul, p.66) 

TeX On The Atari ST, Mitchell,H (Dec, p.43) 
Techno Cop, Miller,B (Jun, p.48) 

Tempus II, Wrotniak.A (Sep, p.44) 


The Best Atari Software, Moes.B (Apr, p.22) 
The Magic Playground, Moes.B (Feb, p.66) 
The Planets, Moes.B (Oct, p.39) 

The Troubled Times Of Lore, Millard,R (Nov, 
P-21) 

Touch-Up, Creighton,M (Apr, p.14) 

Tower Toppler, Osterman.K (Mar, p.59) 
Transylvania, Wright,S (Apr, p.56) 

Turbo 16, Creighton,M (Nov, p.58) 

Turbo Kit, Gunter,R (Oct, p.24) 

Turbo ST 1.6, Wrotniak.A (Oct, p.36) 
UltraScript, Sommers,F (May, p.46) 

Uninvited, Wright,S (May, p.36) 

War In Middle Earth, Millard,R (May, p.30) 
Word Quest, Moes.B (Sep, p.53) 

Word Quest 2, Moes.B (Nov, p.38) 
WordPerfect - Update ‘89, Creighton,M (Oct, 

p.22) 

Zany Golf, Abram,R (Oct, p.44) 

XE/XL Reviews 

Airball, Adkins,P (Dec, p.63) 

Alternate Reality - The City, Emery,L (Feb, 

p.28) 

AtariWriter 80, Beville.S (Oct, p.60) 
Battlezone, Drake,J (Feb, p.60) 

Bismarck: The North Sea Chase, Adkins,P 
(Mar, p.67) 

Blazing Paddles, Hallen.L (Mar, p.68) 
Choplifter!, Godbey.J (Oct, p.65) 

Crime Buster, Poggiali,L (Sep, p.54) 
Crossbow, Poggiali,L (Sep, p.54) 

Crystal Castles, Shutt.B (Oct, p.65) 

Dark Chambers, Godbey.J (Jul, p.60) 
Diamond GOS, Peters,R (Sep, p.56) 

Fight Night, Pietrafesa.J (Feb, p.60) 

Food Fight, Poggiali,L (Mar, p.62) 

Gauntlet, Pietrafesa.J (Mar, p.72) 

Happy’s Programs—Math, Poggiali,L (Jun, 
p.65) 

Hollywood Hijinx, Williams,A (Feb, p.62) 

Into The Eagle’s Nest, Godbey.J (Jul, p.60) 
Labelmaster & Multicolumn Lister, Adkins,P 
(Oct, p.67) 

Magniprint II+, Peters,R (May, p.66) 
Necromancer, Adkins,P (Apr, p.64) 
Newsroom Clip Art Collections, Godbey.J 
(Mar, p.66) 

Rescue On Fractulus!, Godbey.J (Mar, p.62) 
Saracen, Godbey.J (Mar, p.65) 

Sparta DOS-X vs DOS XE, Cowen.T (Nov, 
p.48) 

Star Raiders II, Peters,R (Apr, p.64) 
Starquake, Henry’S House, Panther, Rojo,A 
(Feb, p.65) 

Tomahawk, Firewick.C (Apr, p.58) 
Turboword+, Beville.S (Jul, p.56) 

Video Title Shop, Russek.J (Mar, p.64) 
Winter Challenge, Rojo,A (Jun, p.58) 

XEP80, Di VitO.T (Oct, p.63) 

Zybex, Transmutter, Rojo,A (Feb, p.64) 


Current Notes in 1989: 

525 of our 808 pages were filled with Atari 
news, reviews, tutorials, and commentary. 
Hope you enjoyed the coverage. We look 
forward to even more in 1990 with each issue 
containing 84 pages of Atari information! -JW 


January/February 1990 


Current Notes 


Page 79 





Current Notes U.S. subscription rate is $24 ($42/ 2 years). Canada 2nd class, $32/year. Surface rate to other countries: $39/year. AIR 
MAIL rates: Canada/Mexico, $42; Cent. Amer., Caribbean, $51; S. America, Europe, N. Africa, $61; Mid East, Africa, Asia, Australia, $71. Foreign subs 
payable in US $ drawn on a US bank. Send check, payable to Current Notes, to CN Subscriptions, 122 N. Johnson Rd., Sterling, VA 22170. 


Page 80 


Current Notes 


Vol. 10, No. 1 









































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CARTRIDGE- $680 CARTS- $90ea 


Monitor Stand & 
Power Center 
5 Switched outlets 
with EMI/RFI surge 
protection.Tilt monitor 
stand base. 

$49.95 


Z-Ram - Uses one meg chips, upgrade to 2.5 or 4megs. 

Board wfchipa 

Jpl IO 2.5Mega- $276 4 Mega- $438 

Z-Ram/2.5- For use with 520 ST, Up to 2.5Megs. 

$110 Board w/chipe 2.5Mag§.$271 


Z-Ram/Mega II 


256Kl20ns Chips 


Upgrades Mega II to 4Megs 

a OQ Board w/chipa-$290 


1 Meg 80 ns Ram Chips 
$10.10 ea 



Boards 


ICD Host Adaptor - $94.77 


Turbo 16- Fast Tech Accelerator - $275 
Spectre GCR- $219 Roms- $129 
PC Ditto II - $250 

PC Speed (Michtron Version)- $369 
PC Speed (European Version)- $319 


Floppy Drives 



Master 3S 3.5” double sided- $139 
Atari SF314 3.5" double sided- $169.95 
MFD1080 Switchable 3.5” & 5.25”- $315 


Teakwood Disk Cases 


3.5"- 90disks- $26.95 
3.5"-135disks- $38.95 
5.25”-120disks- $42.95 


|| MISC HARDWARE | 

> IMG scan-$58 

mbm Monitor Master- $32 

Drive Master- $32 
Mouse Master- $27 
Tweety Board- $37 
Video Key- $65 

Migraph Hand Scanner Drive Cable 6Ft- $16.50 

W/ Touchup- $429 Cordless Mouse- $99 



STAR NX1000II- 9 PIN PRINTER - 
$169.60 

STAR NX2410- 24 PIN PRINTER- 
$290 

HEWLETT PACKARD DESKJET- 
$639 

HEWLETT PACKARD DESKJET II- 
$759 

































Current Notes, Inc. 

122 N. Johnson Rd. 

Sterling, VA 22170 

COMPUTER EMPORIUM 

Order line 1-800-526-5548 

Quality Support from an Authorized Atari ST Retail / Service Center 

COMPLETE HARD DRIVE SYSTEMS FOR YOUR ATARI ST 


STack 30 meg Hard Drive . $489.95 \ 

STack 40 meg Hard Drive . $569.95 

STack 65 meg Hard Drive . $629.95 


AH of our STack line of hard drives use ICD Host Adapters and are designed in a under the monitor type case. All 
units come with proper cabling and software and include built in clock and fan. Inside the case you'11 find room for 
a second hard drive. We also include a Choice PD (tm) disk full of hard drive utilities at NO EXTRA CHARGE! 


BULK RATE 
U.S. POSTAGE 

PAID 

DAVENPORT, IA 
PERMIT NO. 291 


BEST MOUSE 
$39.95 


The HOTTEST ST PRODUCTS! 


STAR NX 1000-11 
$185.00 


___ 1 _ 

Top 10 

ENTERTAINMENT 

Top 10 

PRODUCTIVITY 

Top 10 
HARDWARE 

Choice ST PD 
$2.50 per disk! 
Catalog available 

Hard Drivin 
Altered Beast 

25.00 

25.50 

GFA Bas 3 w/comp 
DC Utilities 

85.50 

PC Speed 

Cub DS/DD 

325.00 


18.75 

125.00 

CHAOS! 

North 8c South 

29.95 

Page Stream 

119.00 

Supra 2400 

114.95 

Ghost Busters II 

29.50 

Ultrascript ST-1 

144.00 

VIDI ST 

139.95 

$23.00 

Starblaze 

25.00 

Calamus 

169.00 

Tweety Board 

39.00 

Turbo Outrun 

25.50 

WORD FLAIR 

62.00 

Video Key 

69.00 

European Magazines 

nm WT ^1.1 4 0/\ 

Chase HQ 

24.50 

Hi soft C 

59.95 

Cordless Mouse 

89.95 

Stunt Racer 

27.00 

Goodbackup Utility 

19.95 

Monitor Master 

34.00 

ST World 4.80 

ST- Action 3.95 

Iron Lord 

29.95 

Spectrum 512 

45.00 

Anson 5 1/4 

149.95 

ST- User w/ disk 6.50 

Double Dragon II 

25.00 

STOS 

40.95 

Spectre GCR 

239.00 

ST- Format \\7 disk 6.50 


72 HOUR MEMORY EXPANSION!! 

Send us your 520STFM or 1040ST CPU and in 72hours you could have a 2 or 4 meg 
powerhouse! Our technicians will install a memory card expandable to 4 meg within 24 
hours of recieving it! Then we’ll throw in UPS 2nd day air service at NO EXTRA CHARGE 
so you can have your enhanced system within 72hours!!(excluding weekends)_ 


2 MEG BOARD INSTALLED $329,95 

4 MEG BOARD INSTALLED$459.95 

Up grade to Rainbow Tos 1.4 
$75.00 INSTALLED!! 

Retail store and order lines are open from 9:00ani to 10:00pm central time /one. Please call our customer service line @ 817-577-3470 for 
any defective returns. We honor all manufacturer warranties. Our staff is dedicated in providing our customers with the best pricing and 
service possible. Write to us at: Computer Emporium 5033-E Rule Snow, N. Richland Hills, TX 76180 

TOTALLY COMMITTED TO THE ATARI ST LINE OF COMPUTERS