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Parallel Printer interiac 


Works with Atari,400, 800, 
600XL and SOOXL 


Replaces Atari 850 Interface 
Module te 


Compatible with all software. 


5-foot cable with Centronics 
~ plug (compatible with Epson, 
NEC, Prowriter, etc.’ 


Connects to serial bus on 
computer 

















2 Year Warranty 





Auto Answer/ Auto Dial 
Direct Connect to Phone Line 


No Atari 850 Interface 
Module Needed 


Includes AC Adapter/ 
Power Supply 


Free CompuServe DemoPak. 

1 Year Warranty , 

Connects to Joystick Port 
Works on ALL Atari Computers. 








SOPHISTICATED SMART TERMINAL 
‘SOFTWARE ON CARTRIDGE 








FEATURES: 





“Supports XMODEM Protocol ONLY 


| ASCII/ ATASCII Translation 











_] Allows Transfer of Files Larger than Memory 





|| Upload/ Download of Text and Programs 


| 1100% Machine Language | 








Loads a 65 Column Screen Driver _ : 


|_| Multiple Buffers - 





_| Off-Line Editing 


_|Variable Baud Rate 


| | Parity Options 


TUES | PERIPHERAL 
: 225 Third Avenue, SW e Albany, OR 97321 

ORDERS :1-800-624-7532 

CUSTOMER SERVICE: 1-503-967-9075 











Atari and CompuServe DemoPak are trademarks of Atari Corp. and Com puServe. 





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DEPARTMENTS 


2 EDITORIAL 


9 INPUT/OUTPUT 
Letters from our readers. 


144 NEWS YOU CAN USE 
Of robots, and VCRs, among others. 





23 EDUCATION 


An interview with Tom Snyder, plus 
educational game reviews, and more. 


30 LOGO NOTIONS 
WHEN Demons. 


34 HAPPY HACKER 
A hands-on look at the 130XE and 
DOS 2.5. 


42 COMPUTER CLASSROOM 
Getting into assembly language 
programming. 


46 BITS AND PIECES 
A mixed bag of useful tricks. 


50 USER FRIENDLY 
All about M.A.C.E. 


58 REVIEWS 
Cutthroats, Suspect, Stealth, 
HomePak, Flak. 





FEATURES 


THE PRINTED WORD: ATARI 
INTRODUCES THE XE AND ST 


PRINTERS 
An exciting display of new printers by 
Atari. 





ATARI COMPUTER CARTRIDGES: 
A RETROSPECTIVE 
Atari's treasure trove in ROM. 


KINGS OF THE ATARI DIAMOND 
An assortment of baseball programs for Atari computers. | 








ELECTRONIC MAIL, TYPESETTING, 
AND MY ATARI 


Everything you need to know about 
electronic publishing . 


38 


THE MANY WAYS OF ARRAYS 
Keeping track of your Little Leaguers. 


80 aoe 


ATARI WINS BIG AT LAS VEGAS CES 





APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 1 











CDIORIAL 








have to thank you. 

A letter was sent to everyone 
who had a current subscription to 
the old Atari magazine. In it was 
word of the changeover in Atari’s 
ownership and the new plans for both 
the company and this magazine. | 
asked you to write and tell me what 
you wanted from this magazine. That 
request was repeated in the letter col- 
umn last issue. : 

The response was_ terrific—hun- 
dreds of letters from people who care 
about Atari and who let it be known 
that you're pulling for us out there. 

Aside from the good wishes which 
are most gratefully appreciated, you 
said that you want this magazine to 
provide insight into Atari computers. 
You also asked for more articles on new 
products and, surprisingly (to me at 
least), for more profiles on “key play- 
ers” inside Atari. Also, of course, more 
programs and more meat. 

Were listening! In this and the next 
few issues you will notice this maga- 
Zine evolving in answer to your re- 
quests. My experience back in the Atari 
world leads me to believe that Atari 
users need something that is funda- 
mentally different than what is pro- 
vided for other computers. I don’t 
know if Ican explain just what it is, but 
it will manifest itself on these pages 
with a broader perspective of comput- 
ing than other system-specific maga- 
zines, and a look at the directions that 
we're taking as an industry and as a 
hobby. And we're sure glad you asked. 





Last issue I promised more news on 
support for users groups. The first 
mailing to users groups on our master 
list went out in March. Included was a 
complete press kit from the CES in 
January with all the new product infor- | 
mation. We also asked users groups to 
answer some questions and mail them 
to us. In case you represent a group 
and aren’t on our list, send me your 
groups name, address, meeting loca- 
tion and dates, phone numbers of offi- 
cers, number of members, and dates of 
any local shows in which the group 
participates. 

A data base containing the most up- 
to-date list of groups has been created. 
This list will appear frequently in this 
magazine. It will be distributed in 
every way possible, including the ever- 
popular Customer Service department, 
and by electronic means. 

What that last part suggests is that 
Atari is starting to use its technology to 
get in touch with you. The first step 
was to establish a BBS for Atari users. 
By calling (408) 745-5308, your com- 
puter and modem can connect with > 
one of several Atari 800XL systems. As 
I’m writing this it’s just getting off the 
ground with the user group list, but 
other information will appear quickly, 
like service center lists, calendar of 
events, and plenty more. 

Lots of other projects are getting 
readied now. As they are launched, 
you'll find out about them first in these 


pages. 
—Neil Harris 





An electronic filin 


9 System . A telephone communications 
Woh 6 ne hed with MOOrarn thet allows YOU €Nd your 
“in tem eye COMPUOF to talle lo the world 








Atari Introduces 
the XE es ol Printers 





by J.D. Bass 


“Perhaps nowhere else 
within the new Atari 
product lineistheas ¢ 
company’s dedication to 
power, versatility, and, 
most of all, remarkable 
value as evident as 
within the new line of 
printers.” 


4 ATARI EXPLORER APRIL 1985 


Il the TVs, VDTs, LEDs, and 
CRIs: will never replace: the 
medium of the written word: 
ink on paper. It’s still the most 
i: Aefficient and eye-pleasing way 
to get your message across. 

Perhaps nowhere else within the 
new Atari product line is the company’s 
dedication to power, versatility, and, 
most of all, remarkable value as evident 
as within the new line of printers. 





The printers run the gamut—letter | 


quality daisy wheel, feature-packed 
high speed dot matrix, and low-priced 
color and monochrome dot matrix ther- 
mal transfer printers. They are all at- 
tractively designed, complementing 
the exterior design of the Atari comput- 
ers they support. 

A truly impressive start. Let’s take a 
closer look. 


The Atari XOM121 and 
SDM124 Daisy Wheel 
Letter Quality Printers 


In writing, whether it be a personal 
letter, term paper, resumé or business 
report, how one’s written work looks is 
almost always as important as what 
one says. Atari’s two new letter quality 
daisy wheel printers produce remark- 
ably fine, fully formed characters. They 


afford your written work the kind of 


print quality normally available only 
with a high-quality office typewriter— 
but at a fraction of the price. Needless 


to say, these are the ideal printers for 


home or business word processing ap- 
plications. 

On the hardware side, the XDM121 
and the SDM124 are virtually identical. 
The major difference between the two 
is. their; respective. interfaces. Ine 
XDM121 directly connects to the Atari 
8-bit computers (the 400, 800, and all 
XLs and XEs). The SDM124 is equipped 
with a Centronics parallel connector. It 
connects to all Atari ST Personal Com- 
puters (the incredible 16-bit machines), 
as well as to the IBM PC and compati- 
bles. ! | 
The daisy wheel mechanism is an ex- 
traordinary device. The wheel itself is a 
circular, rather flat, spoked piece of 
plastic. Around the rim of the wheel, at 
the end ofthe spokes; “are the type 
characters arranged for printing. When 
the printer receives an instruction to 
print a certain character, the wheel 
spins to bring that character into strik- 


ing position. After it prints the charac- 


ter, the wheel spins again to bring the 


next character into position. All this 
happens at a remarkable speed—the 
wheel spinning to bring characters into 
striking position, and the carriage mov- 
ing into the correct horizontal print 
position. 

The print wheel packed along with 
the printer is the handsome Courier 10 
(40 characters, per inch). It is not in- 
stalled at the factory, but snaps right 
into place without complication. If you 
write in a foreign language, the 
XDM121’s special diasy wheel over- 
strikes to produce the Atari interna- 


tional character set. 
The printers are equipped with an 


easy-to-install (and remove) cassette 
containing a multistrike carbon film 
ribbon that provides excellent print 
quality and long life (about 190,000 
characters). The multistrike ribbon 


lasts longer than one-strike carbon film 


because the same spot on the ribbon 
can withstand repeated strikes from 
the print wheel. One-strike carbon film 
and fabric ribbons are also available. 

The printers feed paper with friction, 
like a. typewriter. They accept single 
sheets, so you are free to use your per- 
sonal or business stationery, or any 
other single sheet of paper up to 11.8 
inches wide. A pin-feed tractor feeder 
and a single-sheet feeder are available 
as optional accessories. 

Both printers are loaded with sophis- 
ticated features like boldface printing, 
underlining, and subscripts and super- 
scripts (half-line and reverse half-line 
feed). they print bidirectionally- for 
extra printing speed (12 characters per 
second). And the print mechanism is 
logic seeking, which means that the 
carriage never moves unnecessarily. 
The printers provide an excellent array 
of tabbing controls and page-length op- 


tions, having the ability to store these 


commands in memory. | . 
The printers’ control panels feature 
two indicators (Power and On Line) 
and three built-in functions: Line Feed, 
to advance the paper; On Line, to 
switch the printer on- and off-line; and 
Top of Form, to set the desired top of 


_ page. Though the panels are feature- 


packed, they remain uncomplicated 
and easy-to-use. 

The XDM121 has been designed for 
compatability with the AtariWriter word 
processor, as well as all other applica- 
tions programs that support Atari 8-bit 
computers and printers (past and pre- 
sent). The SDM124 has been designed 
for software compatability with major 
word processing programs, as it em- 














ploys industry-standard printing and 
formatting commands. 

My one criticism of the printers is 
that certain formatting functions seem 
overly complex. However, when com- 
patible word processing or other appli- 
cations programs are driving the ma- 
chines, there is little to bother oneself 
about. Without such a program, one 
must do a little arithmetic to figure line 
spacing, print pitch, and inches per 
page. Luckily, the documentation is 
very careful to present these points as 
clearly as possible. 


The Atari XMM801 and 
SMM804 Dot Matrix 
Graphics Printers 


As with the XDM121 and SDM124, 
the Atari XMM801 and SMM804 are 
nearly mechanical twins. The XMM801 
is for use with the Atari 8-bit comput- 
ers. The SMM804 is for use with the 
Atari ST Personal Computers, as well 
as with the IBM PC and compatibles. 

At this low price, you won't find a 
dot-matrix printer more powerful and 
versatile. It’s the perfect all-around 
printer for everyday use. What's more, 
both printers feature dot-addressable 
graphics capability. 

The dot-matrix printing method al- 
lows you maximum flexibility in for- 
matting your written work. Conven- 
tional typewriters and daisy wheel 
printers have a different piece of type 
for each character. A dot matrix printer, 
on the other hand, prints every charac- 
ter with a single print head. The print 
head contains 8 dot wires (9 for the 
SMM804) that strike the ribbon in a 
matrix of 8 dots high by 9 dots wide. 
The microprocessor inside the printer 
keeps track of which dots to print and 
where to print them for any given char- 
acter or print style. 

Packed along with the printers is 
a multistrike carbon film ribbon car- 
tridge. Both printers accept pin-feed 
computer fanfold paper or single 
sheets. at 

The printers offer a full panoply of 
fonts—pica, elite, condensed, and pro- 
portional. The elite and condensed 
fonts are as close to correspondence- 
quality as you're likely to get with a dot 
matrix printer. The two printers also 
feature a rich assortment of print styles 
—double width, boldface, double 
strike, underlining, and subscript and 
superscript characters. (The SMM804 

CONTINUED ON 70 





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Printers that run the gamut—letter quality daisy wheel, high speed dot matrix, and low- 
priced color and monochrome thermal transfer dot matrix. : 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 5 











ee 


STAR RAIDER 


JOUST 





Still Fun After All These Years 


Atari Computer Cartridges: A Retrospective 


One of the less obvious casualties 
of the Great Videogame Shake-out is 
the ROM cartridge. They haven’t com- 
pletely disappeared, of course, but most 
new software is published on floppy 
disk. 


There are several reasons for the 
change. The advances in hardware 
have fed the popularity of large-mem- 
ory entertainment programs, which 
are not suitable for the cartridge for- 
mat. Disks are cheaper than carts to 
manufacture. Because the price of disk 
drives has fallen more than 30 percent 
in the last two years, more computer 
owners have mass storage devices now 
than was formerly the case. 


Caught up in today’s disk-o-mania, 
it’s easy to overlook the treasure trove 
of entertainment cartridges produced 
by Atari for its home computers. Many 
Atari carts are faithful adaptations of 
coin-ops that collected mountains of 
quarters in the family amusement cen- 
ters. The best of the designs have 
proven their ability to entertain and 
challenge players on millions of play- 
screens across the land. 





Naturally, not all cartridges have 
risen to classic status. Some just got 
old. So, here’s a rundown of Atari's best 
entertainment cartridges. 


-GALAXIAN 


This multi-wave invasion contest is 
the prototypical vintage action game. 
Its elegantly simple play-mechanic is as 
absorbing in 1985 as it was when 
Namco created the coin-op more than 
Six years ago. 


Only those totally jaded with target- 
shoots will fail to enjoy this sequel to 
Space Invaders. The aliens don’t march 
down the display like so many sitting 
ducks, but swoop back and forth across 
the screen like cosmic birds. The dive- 
bombing nasties pose a far greater 
threat to the player’s horizontally mo- 
bile cannon/ship than the marching 
monsters of Space Invaders. 


The graphics, astonishing at the time, 
have held up well. Watching the space 
birds glide out of formation is still a 
treat, but keep moving and firing or the 
cannon is doomed. 


by Arnie Katz & Bill Kunkel 


CENTIPEDE 


Atari's 1981 coin-op utilized the inva- 
sion game play-mechanic ina highly in- 
novative fashion. “Galaxian with bugs” | 
may sound like a bizarre premise for a 
game, but no one can quarrel with this 
title’s enduring popularity. 

The main antagonist is a hundred- 
legger that travels down the garden 
playfield toward the player's bug 
sprayer. Mushrooms function as bar- 
riers, shaping the centipede’s route. 
For the first time in any invasion con- 
test, the player’s weapon moves verti- 
cally as well as horizontally. This makes 
it possible for the player to avoid 
deadly collisions with spiders, fleas 
and the like. 

One thing that the cartridge lacks is 
the sheer speed of the coin-op. Arcade 
aces may well miss the machinegun- 
rapid fire of the bug sprayer, but Cen- 
tipede remains quite challenging in this 
edition. 


DONKEY KONG 


Some games follow the leader, while 
others set the trend. This cartridge is 









































DONKEY KONG 


based on a Nintendo play-for-pay ma- 
chine that introduced the jumping and 
climbing game genre. The _ player 
guides Mario the maintenance man 
through a three-screen quest to rescue 
his girlfriend from the clutches of the 
titanic gorilla Donkey Kong. The hero 
must climb to the top of each play- 
screen, dodging Donkey Kong's barrels 
or busting them open for bonus points 
with a sledgehammer. 


Despite its ground-breaking play- 
mechanic, the design of Donkey Kong 
has rarely been “aped” by other pub- 
lishers. Thus it remains a singular en- 
tertainment experience. 


The popularity of Donkey Kong has 
made multi-media stars of both Mario 
and his simian adversary. It has also 
sparked a sequel, Donkey Kong Jr, 
which is also available on cartridge 
from Atari. In this one, the player con- 
trols the son of Donkey Kong, who is try- 
ing to free Daddy from Mario's cage. 


MISSILE COMMAND 


This jewel of a game is so perfectly 
balanced that it still has no serious 
rivals in its category. Even the com- 
promises necessary to bring it to the 
home computer screen turned out to be 
beneficial simplifications for the most 
part. 

The main change from the Atari coin- 
op is that the gamer controls one com- 
mand center instead of three. This 
cleans up the situation by eliminating 
needless over-complication. 

A less welcome difference is that the 
arcade machine featured a lightning- 
quick trackball controller, while home 


MISSILE COMMAND 


players use a Trak Ball™ or conven- 
tional joystick. 

Most coin-ops must be altered to 
some extent for the home market. 
Here, the computerist clearly comes 
out ahead. Missile Command belongs in 
every software library. 


PAC-MAN 


The granddaddy of gobble games 
didn’t come across well as a 4K video- 
game, but the computer cartridge is re- 
markably true to its inspiration. 

Play a few rounds of this maze- 
chase, and it becomes easy to under- 
stand the almost hypnotic hold it once 
had on arcaders. Its labyrinth provides 
an ample arena for spur-of-the-mo- 
ment strategy, and Pac-Man and the 
ghosts who chase him through the 
pellet-lined corridors are well drawn in 
a cartoon style. 


MS. PAC-MAN 


This sequel to Pac-Man enhances and 
embellishes the concepts introduced 
by its predecessor. There are three dif- 
ferent mazes, more scrolling tunnels 
and mobile bonus prizes to delight the 
maze-game lover. 

The cartridge edition is outstanding 
in every respect. Even the joystick con- 
trol seems somehow more responsive 
than usual as the gamer steers Ms. P 
around the labyrinth. 


Those who find the pre-set mazes of 
Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man confining are 
invited to create their own in Dig Dug. 
The player earns points by excavating 


tunnels in the varicolored soil of the 
playfield. | 
Lurking in small caves beneath the 
surface are monsters that can kill Dig 
Dug with a single touch. The miner can 
blow up Pooka the intelligent tomato 
or Fygar the fire-breathing dragon by 
pumping the action button. Harvesting 
the bonus vegetables before they dis- 
appear scores up to 8,000 extra points. 
since Dig Dug depended so much on 
its cuteness in the amusement centers, 
it’s good to know that Atari’s cartridge 
reproduces the graphics and music 
fairly accurately. Dig Dug isn’t as chal- 
lenging as some other action games, 
but playing it is a highly enjoyable ex- 


perience. 


DEFENDER 


Frenetic action is the halimark of this 
duo-directional scroller. Aliens have 
conquered the player’s home planet, 
and it’s up to the super-ship Defender 
to cruise the multi-screen playfield to 
rescue humans and destroy the inva- 
sion armada. You have to fight a half- 
dozen different aliens with laser and 
smart bombs, -and- thats not 100 
shabby. 

Few games boast a more devoted fol- 
lowing than Defender. The home ver- 
sion of this science fiction shoot-out is 
guaranteed to heat the blood of any 
member of the blast brigade. 


SUPER BREAK-OUT 


Wall-bashing games are pretty scarce 
these days, perhaps because no one 
has designed a better one than this clas- 
sic. Super Break-Out offers four different 

CONTINUED 








DIG DUG 


variations on the basic theme for one- 
to-four players. (Actually, the cart al- 
lows up to eight people to play if your 
machine has ports for four sets of pad- 
dles). 

It isn’t graphics or sound that makes 
this program a winner. Both are all 
right, but nothing spectacular. Play- 
action gives Super Break-Out its special 
zip. The “Progressive” version, in par- 
ticular, gives gamers plenty of oppor- 
tunity to work those angles as the walls 
march down the screen toward the hor- 
izontally movable paddle. 


QIX 


Although this line-drawing strategy 
contest was probably too cerebral for 
the amusement arcades, it can glue a 
gamer to the monitor for hours. 

The player scribes lines on an other- 
wise empty playfield to create boxes 
covering 75 percent of the available 


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PAC-MAN 


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MS. PAC-MAN 


area. A Qix whirls across the field, and 
two Sparx travel the lines to thwart this 
aim. 

There’s not much to look at in Qix, 
but graphics are largely a side issue for 
programs of this kind, anyway. Q1x is 
that rare cartridge which is just as 
much, tun the hundredth. time <its 
plugged into the slot as it was the first. 


STAR RAIDERS 


Computerists rated this as the most 
popular program for two years in 
monthly polls conducted by Electronic 
Games magazine. Many attribute the 
early success of Atari computers, at 
least in part, to the allure of this first- 
person flying and shooting game. 

Star Raiders makes the gamer the cap- 
tain of a single spaceship. Its mission: 
Save the universe from an alien inva- 
sion. Single-key commands allow the 
pilot to travel by hyper space or im- 


PLAYER 
- 


pulse drive, energize shields, select 
from two viewscreens, consult onboard 
computers or fire weapons. 

Even after several years, this cart 
is still impressive. Other titles have 
eclipsed it graphically, but few have 
matched its excitement level. 


JOUST 


A high point in arcade-to-home trans- 
lations, this combat between knights 
mounted on giant winged birds moves 
to the home screen without a single 
feather out of place. The intricate 
graphics, superlative sound effects and 
flawless play-action all come through 
loud and clear in the cartridge edition. 

One of the title’s greatest virtues is 
that it can be played head-to-head as 
well as solitaire. Playing solo is fun, but 
guiding that ostrich through the sky 
against live opposition is even more 
entertaining. AM 





ALL THE LATEST ATARI NEWS AND INFORMATION 
FROM THE SOURCE—DELIVERED TO YOU AT HOME. 








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ALL THE LATEST ATARI NEWS AND INFORMATION | 
FROM THE SOURCE—DELIVERED TO YOU AT HOME. | 





) - Subscribe Now And Save 50¢ Off The $3.00 Cover Price 


—— Every issue of ATARI EXPLORERIM is filled with educational articles, reviews, tutorials, and tips to help you and your 
, family get the most from your ATARI Computer. 


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_ BACKSTAGE WITH LUCASFILM’S 
Gt arts 


ae 
GAME GROUP 
lao iis 


ee ee 





Order Back Issues of 
ATARI CONNECTION™ 


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Information About Your ATARI Computer. 


$4.00 Each...Includes Postage and Handling! 
Sent by First Class Mail! 


Each issue of ATARI CONNECTION features 
concise, easy-to-read articles—you’ll not only 
know more, you'll be doing more with your 
Atari Computer. 

ORDER NOW! 


—Visit the Lawrence Hall of Sclence Com- 
puter Classes! Interfacing—a tutorial on how to connect your Atari 
computer to various printers. And KIDBITS programs! 


— Get an “Artist's Guide to Painting with 
Atari Computer Color” plus meet the Marcuses—a family with a 
Computerized Household. 


—Special programs for the GTIA graphics 
chip and PILOT Playground with four new joystick-controlled ATARI 
PILOT fun programs. Plus, learn how an ATARI 800 computer helped 
create action sound effects for the TRON movie. 


—Discover how Atari computers have 
become a major force in computer education. Also includes infor- 
mation on The Bookkeeper, an easy-to-use accounting package 
ideal for the home office. 


—Learn how to Introduce your child to a 
home computer and how to read a computer program. Plus, book 
reviews and the new hottest games and educational software. 


—Special “Telecommunications” Issue. In- 
cludes how to program your own mailing list and information on 
electronic bulletin boards. Plus a tutorial about computer cartoon 
animation. 


—Summer Issue featuring new programm- 
ing section; designs for computer work areas In your home; careers 
in the computer industry and searching the star system with your 
Home Computer. 


—Feature on Logo vs. BASIC plus ten tips 
on how to program from a programming professional. Also in- 
cludes an article on bilingual computer education pius much 
more. 


—Inciudes “A Learning Guide for the Com- 
pleat Computerist’’. In addition, our on-going series on tips from 
programming pros. Plus, how to create form letters, footnotes, and 
formats with AtariWriter ™ 


—An exclusive interview with Lucasfilm’s 
master programmers and ten programming tips from Lucasfiilm’s 
Computer Game wizards! Also includes a special consumer report 
on Electronic Mail services. 


—Special ‘Creative Applications” Issue 
features an in-depth article with a world-renowned musical techni- 
clan and Hollywood collaborator. Also, a special look at the new 
AtariLab and Atari Plato. Even more programming tips from Atari's 
Advanced Games Group. 






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ST Series Drives 

Is there a built-in disk drive? Are 
they compatible with software for the 
old Atari computers? Are BASIC and 

Logo built-in or are they cartridges? 
William Thomas 
Delta Atari User’s Group 
Stockton, CA 


Can you hook up a5inch floppy disk 
to the 520ST? Is there someone who 
buys old Atari computers so I can 


“trade up?” 
Tim Proster 


Solon, Oh 


Can I use my 1050 disk drive with a 
130ST or 520ST? | 

| Scott Quarmly 

Sarasota, FL 


INPUTOUTPUT 


Why are you using a 3.5 inch drive 
instead of standard 5.25 inch drives? In 
fact, more data can be stored on the 5.5 
inch disks. _ Austin Rains 
, , Stockton, CA 


Yes, the ST uses a 3.5 inch drive that ts 
not in any way compatible with the old 
familiar 5.25 inch 1050's. The ST comput- 
ers have the disk controller board built-in, 
which saves putting the electronics in each 


drive separately and makes them faster and 


less expensive than a 1050 drive. The ST's 
3.5 inch floppy drive stores 500K on each 
diskette, far more than the larger diskettes 
due to a more precise mechanism. 

BASIC or Logo will be built-in to the 
computer. Right now there's a possibility of 
different models, one with Logo and the 
other with BASIC. ; 

On the issue of “trading up” from the 8- 
bit to the new 16/32-bit computers, there's 
no policy from Atari on this, but your local 
area may have a store or newspaper that 
specializes in. “pre-owned” computer sys- 
tems. 

Remember that the ST line ts totally differ- 
ent from the XE line (or your XL or 400/800 
computer). It 1s as different from them as 
the 8-bitters are from the VCS game ma- 
chines. 


ST Memory Expansion 
Is the 130ST expandable to more than 
128K memory if you can’t afford the 
520ST with 512K now? 
Cynthia Hawrylak 
Franklin Park, IL 


The ST computers are not designed to be 
RAM expandable. The cartridge port ts for 
ROM expansion only, up to 128K of ROM 
per cartridge. Since the price difference be- 
tween the 520ST and 130ST is only about 
$200, you should consider getting the 
520ST if you think you'll need the extra 
RAM. 


How Many Columns 
The review of the new hardware 
studiously avoids any references to 40 


or 80 column screens. Was this simply | 
an oversight? Tom Calmeyer — 
Richmond, VA 


The screen of the ST computers ts entirely 
bitmapped, not divided into 8 by 8 charac- 
ters as in other computers. This allows the 
computer to display characters using a wide 
variety of typestyles, sizes, and with special 
effects like italics and bold facing. The result 
is the ability to create screen displays that 
look like a typeset page—like this magazine! 

Since the maximum resolution of the ST 
is 640 x 400 dots, assuming 8 x 8 as the 
character size gives you an 80 column by 50 
line display. Smaller sized characters would 
actually increase your resolution beyond 
this. 


XL or XE 

I have had an Atari 800 for almost 
three years now, and I am for a fact 
going to get a new Atari computer 
soon, but one thing I’ve got to know. 
Should I get an 800XL now, or hold off 
for the new XE product line? It would 

seem better to wait for the latest. 
Mike Burks 
Maize, KS 67101 


There isn’t really a whole lot of difference 
between the 800XL and the 65XE except for 
styling and the presence of the processor bus 
port on the XL. The 130XE is a definite step 
up if you need speed or extra capacity in 
word processing (see the review later in this 
issue). 


New Printers + 1200XL 


Are the new printers (letter quality 
daisy wheel, low cost dot matrix ther- 
mal transfer printer, and the high 
speed dot matrix impact printer) totally 
compatible with my 1200XL? Do any of 
these printers print graphics? 
| | Chris Hays 
Fords, NJ 


The answer to everything is yes. All of 
the dot matrix printers will print graphics, 
and all the new products for the XE line are 


compatible with your 1200XL. 
CONTINUED 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 9 


What’s the Difference? 

What is the difference between the 
Atari computers, the XL series, and the 
XE series? Tom Carroll 

“Orland Park > UG 


This is a question that bothers lots of 
people. The main difference between the first 
Atari computers, the 400 and 800, and the 
later XL and XE models, ts the built-in pro- 
gram called the operating system, or OS. 

All known hardware is compatible with 
all these Atari computers. And software de- 
velopers who followed Atari’s published 
standards had no problem with compatibil- 
ity. However, some programs were written 
that only worked on the older computers. In 
most cases the software developers quickl 
corrected their products. 

If you have an XL or XE computer and 
buy a piece of disk-based software that won't 
work, you should acquire a translator disk 
from Atari Customer Service. For only 
$9.95, any problems with software incom- 
patibility will disappear. 

For your copy, write to: 
Atari Customer Service 
PO Box 61657 
Sunnyvale, CA 94088 
Attn: Translator Disk 


\ 


80 Columns for XL 


[have an 800XL computer. Is there a 
way I could make this into an 80-col- 
umn computer and still be able to use 
AtariWriter and Visicalc? 

Robert Duffy 
Des Moines, lowa 


The new 80-column monitor (the 
XM128) lets any Atari computer use 80 col- 
umns. However, the software that you use 
must recognize that this device 1s plugged 
in and transmit to it. The new AtariWriter 
Plus (compatible with the original Atari- 
Writer) supports both the 80-column monti- 
tor and the extra memory ina 65XE. Most 
software vendors will probably adjust their 
software to work with this peripheral. 


Networks 

I have the Atari 800, 400, and 600XL. 
Is there an easy way of making these 
machines “talk” to each other? If so, I 
would think combinations of these 
could make for an extremely powerful 
network, comparable to large and ex- 
pensive computer systems. Next I wish 
to purchase and use the 1027 letter 


quality printer and the newest Atari — 


disk drive. Is there any problem going 


from one computer to another? Is there | 


any problem using the AtariWriter car- 


10 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 


tridge with the 600XL and the 1027 
printer? ; John FE. Leahy 
Chualar, CA 


There have been whispers in the Atari 
back rooms of a low-cost networking system 
that lets Atar1 computers share data over a 
very simple system of wires. With luck, a 
prototype of such a system will be ready to 
show soon. 

There is no problem when switching be- 
tween these machines, except where you use 
up the 16K memory in the 600XL. The 1027 
printer requires a printer driver to work 
properly with AtariWriter. See the News 
You Can Use section in this issue for more 
on the printer drivers. 


Is Plato A Myth? 


In the Summer 1984 issue of Atari 
Connection I read an article about Plato. 
l have not.seen ab ynestoresiyet.ls it 
planned for release to the public at all? 

Peter Joe 
Villanova, PA 


The cartridge that gives your computer 
and modem the ability to access the Plato 
system is officially called The Learning 
Phone. This cartridge ts finally ready to go 
and should be in stores by the time you read 
this. It 1s compatible with almost every 
modem, including the new XM301 and the 
1030, 835, MPP, and 850-interfaced mo- 
dems. 





AtariWriter + Tape ! 

I write daily (using AtariWriter) but 
my time is limited. I need to know how 
I can SAVE on tape what I type daily, 
then add to it at a later time. I want the 
combined text to be stored as a single 
file. How do! do this? © 

Mary Shahpazian 
Lincoln Park, NJ 


Each time you want to add to a document 
on tape, you should start the session by us- 
ing AtariWriter’s LOAD command to get 
your original document back from the tape. 
Make all the additions and alterations you 
like. When you're through, rewind the cas- 
sette and SAVE your new. document on top 
of the old one. If you're a stickler for backing 
yourself up (a good habit, actually), alter- 
nate between two different tapes—yust in 
case one copy goes bad. 


Where's the Proofreader? 

Where can I find the Atari Proof- 
reader program, advertised in the Feb- 
ruary 1985 issue? Katie Harrison 

White Plains, MD — 


Will Proofreader work with an Atari 
800 with 48K? J. Mooers Vainik 
san Diego, CA 


The Atari Proofreader for AtariWriter 
should be in stores by now. You need to own 
a copy of AtariWriter, at least one disk 


drive, and have at least 32K in your Atari 


computer to use Proofreader. 


Overseas Compatibility 

I am British and will be working in 
the USA for the next 18 months. When 
I return to the UK, will I be able to con- 
vert my 800XL computer and program 

recorder to the UK electrical system? 
B. Greenwood 
Fort Gordon, GA 
The electrical part is easy—it’s adapting — 
the TV signal that rules out moving your 
computer across the ocean. In North Amer- 
ica we use a form of TV Signal called NTSC. 


~The European standard ts called PAL. A 


computer designed for NTSC won't work 
with PAL TV's, period. So, you can either 
bring your American TV set along with 
everything else—not to mention a pile of 
electrical adapters—or get a European ver- 
sion once you return to Britain. 


Player-Missile Story 
Can you explain player-missile 
graphics? I’ve bought two books but 
neither explains it well. 
David Mitchell 
Euless, TX 


That's a tall order in this short space. The 
general idea is that you draw a picture on 
the screen that serves as the background, or 
playfield. Players and missiles are objects 
that can move over the playfield, without 
disturbing it. On computers without this 
capability this is usually a very messy job 
for the programmer—not on your Atari 
computer. The Atari Customer Service de- 


partment has a Demopac on Advanced 
Graphics that should help—see the letter 
later in this section for ordering informa- 
tion. 


Bookkeeper + Keypad 

I purchased the “Bookkeeper” soft- 
ware package which included the Atari 
CX85 numeric keypad. I have been in- 
formed that there is software which al- 
lows one to use this with other com- 
mercial programs. Where can I obtain 
this software? David G. Henry 
: Greenfield, WI 


The numeric keypad ts supposed to in- 
clude a diskette with special “driver” pro- 
grams that let this keypad function with 
other programs. If you don’t have this disk, 
you should write to Atari Customer Service 
at PO Box 61657, Sunnyvale, CA 94088. 


AtariWriter + 1027 
Which printer option in AtariWriter 
do I select for a 1027 printer? When I 
select the 825 the spacing function 
doesn’t work, the printer won’t double 
space when the space index is set to 4. 
Is there a printer driver for the 1027? 
Also, is there plot software for the 1020 
plotter? It would be nice to be able to 
duplicate plots from the screen. 
James G. Bell 
Issaquah, WA 


There 1s a printer driver needed for older 
versions of AtariWriter to properly utilize 
the 1027 printer. The driver is available 

from Gary Furr. 

A nice screen dump for the 1020 is avail- 
able in the Atart SIG on CompuServe. 
Check your local users group if you don't 
have a modem, or better yet—get one! 


1450XLD & MidiMate 

Where or how can I buy the Atari 
1450XLD? Where (if it is still available) 
can I buy the Atari Touch Tablet? Where 
can I purchase the MidiMate? 
Paul Krejci 
San Antonio, TX 


There's no 1450XLD. It was announced 
under the old regime, but no units were ever 
shipped. Sorry. Better news is that the 
Touch Tablet ts in distribution in most Atari 
dealers, and shouldn't be very hard to come 
by. The MidiMate (as described last issue in 
the Industry News section) costs $495 


(that’s not a misprint) and is available from. 


Bob Moore at Hybrid Arts, P.O. Box 
480845, Los Angeles, CA 90048. You can 
call Hybrid Arts at (818) 508-7443. 


Telecommunications 
I just tried to buy your 1030 modem 
but you stopped making it. Why? Can 

I still get the Communicator II kit? 

Steve Yingling 
Chillicothe, OH 
The new XM301 Modem should be avail- 
able by now, as should the remainder of the 
1030's. The XM301 requires no separate 
power supply, can auto-answer, and plays 
the telephone’s audio through your TV or 
monitor speaker. The 1030's advantage is 
the built-in terminal software, but with 
most people switching to more powerful 
software like Tscope and Homelerm this 

shouldn't bother anyone. 


1200XL + BASIC 
I bought a 1200XL computer at a 
Montgomery Wards in Ventura. I or- 
dered the BASIC language—Atari 
CXL4002, and learned that it is for the 
400/800 computer. Now I have a com- 
puter I cannot program. Can you solve 
my problem? William J. Aberle 
Santa Paula, CA 


You have the correct BASIC cartridge for 
your computer! The CXL4002 works with 
all Atari computers in the 8-bit series. 


Whither Plato? 


Where can I find out about the avail- 
ability of Atari products? For instance, 
does the Atari Plato cartridge actually 
exist? Is Ballblazer or Rescue on Frac- 
talus available? Kevin Coleman 

Leominster, MA 


Keep your eye on this magazine. By next 
issue we should be able to gather a list of all 
Atari products that are available and those 


which are not. The Plato Cartridge is called » 


The Learning Phone and is available now. 
The two Lucasfilm games (see Atari Con- 
nection, Spring 1984) are now being sold 


by Epyx. 
Documentation Availability 


As a director of the eastern Iowa 
Atari users group (Hawkatari), I would 
like to establish communications with 
the “New Atari.” There are several 
questions brought up by our members. 
Is modem communications with Atari 
possible and to what extent? Can we 
get more information on the 1030 
modem? Modemlink will not work 
with a disk drive, AMODEM does not 
work with the 1030, Disklink will not 
download binary, and there is no auto 
answer. Can we get schematics so that 
an auto-answer function can be imple- 
mented? Are the Technical Reference 


Notes, De Re Atan, and Demopaks still 
available? Will the documentation of 
the new lines be available so that cus- 
tom application of the hardware will be 
as easy as it was in the past? 
James Joehn 
Atkins, Iowa 


Yes, you can reach us by modem on Com- 
puServe with the ID number 700071135. 
We are in the process of setting up an inter- 
nal BBS system for user groups (see this 
issue's editorial). 

A version of Amodem that supports the 
1030 and 835 is available in the Atari SIG 
on CompuServe. So is Tscope, our favorite. 
We are trying to dig up as much technical 
information from the “Atari Archives” as we 
can. Anything on the 1030 will make it to 
these pages as quickly as we can find it. 

The publications you list are all still 
available from the ever-suffering customer 
service department. Send $19.95 for De Re 
Atari, $29.95 for Technical Reference Notes, 
and $1.00 for each Demopac to Atari Cus- 
tomer Kkelations, -PO..Box 61657. Sur- 
nyvale, CA 94088, Attn: Documentation. 
The Demopacs are short articles covering 
many interesting topics. Here’s the com- 
plete list: 

1. Strings & Formatting 

. Data File Processing 
Programming Examples 
Atari Color Graphics 
Advanced Graphics 
Advanced System Features 
Dome Special Features» 4° 
Software and Hardware Timers 
9. Logo Info Pac 

10:7 Loge Demo Pac =. 

11... Logo Prater Pac 

12. Touch Tablet Pac 


COND OR WN 


Modem Meets Disk Drive 

Iown a 1200XL, 1050 Disk Drive, and 
1030 modem, and I was wondering if I 
can use the modem and the disk drive 
at the same time to LOAD and SAVE 

things I receive over the phone. 
Joe D. Sebestin 
Polson, MT 


You need some terminal software that al- 
lows downloading and uploading. Home- 
Pak (reviewed in this issue) contains a nifty 
section called Homelerm, which can upload 
and download with CompuServe and which 
has a capture buffer for other systems. The 
public domain program Tscope (available on 
CompuServe’s Atart SIG or from your 
friendly neighborhood users group) also up- 
loads and downloads with CompuServe. 
Another popular public-domain program is 


CONTINUED 


APRIL 1935: “ALTARTEXPLEORER:; 11 


Disklink, which lets two Atari computers 
communicate easily with each other. There 
are lots of others floating around, too. 


What criteria do you have for submit- 
ting an article to Atari Explorer? 

Wayne H. Miller 

Chesterland, OH 


To make sure that your subject is appro- 
priate for an article here, you can get in 
touch with us by letter (to P.O. Box 3427, 
Sunnyvale, CA 94088), by telephone (408- 
745-4204), or by E-Mail on CompuServe 
(to 700071135). 

Manuscripts should be typed (or printed 
out), double-spaced, and use 2-inch mar- 
gins. Please send a copy of the article and 
any accompanying programs on disk or 
tape. 

It takes us 4—8 weeks to respond to unso- 
licited submissions, so please be patient. 


Users Group Pack 

My aunt sent in a card to renew my 
subscription to Atari Connection. Is it 
necessary to send in a different one for 


Atari Explorer? Also, I would like to 
know exactly what a “User’s Group 


Pack” consists of. Joseph Fomosa 
Richmond Hill, NY 


All paid subscriptions for Atari Connec- 
tion are honored for Atari Explorer, so you 
are in good shape. 

Users groups just getting started can 
write Atari Users Group Support in care of 
this magazine for a booklet with advice on 
how to start a users group. All groups should 
write in with the following information: 

1. Name and address of group. 

2. Names, addresses, and telephone num- 
bers of all officers. 

3. Place and time of meetings. 

4. Number of members, and the number of 
members who subscribe to this magazine. 

5. Telephone number of any BBS’s. 

Also, you should put us on the mailing 
list for your newsletter so we'll know what's 
up in your area. 


Untangle My Subscription 

In the Spring of 1983 I sent 2 pur- 
chase cards to Atari Connection and 
$10.00 for 4 more issues. To date I have 


received Summer 1983, Fall 1983, 
Winter 1984, Spring 1984; Summer 
1984, and now the February 1985 issue 
of Atari Explorer. In July 1984 I sent a 
check for another 10 issues. Your label 
says my last copy would be August 
1986, which would mean only 3 issues 
in 1985 and three more in 1986. Where 
are my other 4 issues? 
Edward Perkins 
Roseville, MI 


According to my address label my 
subscription will expire in August 1985. 
This would mean that I would receive 
three issues, when I paid for four. The 
February 1985 issue was the only one I 
received so far. 

Sam Cory 
Towaco, NJ 


The confusion 1s caused by the change in 
publishing frequency when we changed to 
the new Atari Explorer format. While the 
Connection was quarterly (4 issues per 
year), this magazine is a bimonthly (6 issues 
per year). Subscriptions have been adjusted 
to take the increased number of issues into 
account. Your subscription 1s correct. AK 





USERS GROUPS 
Users Group Near You 


There is probably a users group in your neighborhood, 
and the listing below was compiled to help you find it. If you 
know of a group in your area that is not listed, let us know. 
Ask your local users group to send.us its newsletter ASAP! 


Call For Newsletters 


One of the ways we get acquainted with your group’s ac- 
tivities is by reading your newsletter. Send us each issue of 
your newsletter and we’ll make sure that your group is 
added to this list—then Atari owners in your area can stop 
in at your next meeting! 


Local users groups are the backbone of the Atari computer 
community. Users groups provide a forum to share ideas, to 
get advice, and to learn how to get the most from your Atari 
computer. Many users groups publish newsletters, make 
available public-domain software, and hold regular meetings 
with speakers on a variety of topics specifically for Atari 
computers. Support your local users group and they'll sup- 
port you! 

This list has been compiled from a variety of sources includ- 
ing groups in the Sunnyvale area and Ray Croker. If you 
know of any active groups that are not on this list, or of any 


groups on the list that are no longer active, please contact us * 


at: Atari Explorer 
Users Group Dept. 
PO Box 3427 
Sunnyvale, CA 94088 


"12 ATARI EXPLORER APRIL 1985 


ALASKA 


FAIRBANKS ATARI COMPUTER 


ENTHUSIASTS 
717 Bentley Drive W. 
Fairbanks, AK 99701 


ATARI COMPUTER CLUB OF 
ANCHORAGE 

P.O. Box 104343 

Anchorage, AK 99510 


A.I.S. MICROCOMPUTER USERS’ 
GROUP ; 

21-662 H Apricot Street 

Elmendorf AFB, AK 99506 


ALABAMA 


WIREGRASS MICRO-COMPUTER 


SOCIETY 
109 Key Bend Road 
Enterprise, AL 36330 


ENTARI USERS’ GROUP 
108 Crestview Drive 
Enterprise, AL 36330 


MONTGOMERY ATARI 
COMPUTER ENTHUSIASTS 
213 W. Vanderbilt Loop 
Montgomery, AL 36109 


HUNTSVILLE ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

3911 W. Crestview, N.W. 
Huntsville, AL 35805 

3rd Thur. 


- 
COMPUTER USERS OF 
THE SHOALS 
UNA - Box 5050 
Florence, AL 35632 


BIRMINGHAM ATARI COMPUTER 

ENTHUSIASTS \ 
346 Shades Crest Road 
Birmingham, AL 35226 


ARKANSAS 


FT. SMITH ATARI USERS’ GROUP 
2672 South Enid Street 
Ft. Smith, AR 72901 


BLYTHEVILLE ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

1421 B Hemlock Drive 
Blytheville, AR 72315 


LITTLE ROCK ATARI ADDICTS 
3900 McCain Park #139 

N. Little Rock, AR 72116 

3rd Sat 


OBU ATARI USERS’ GROUP 
320 N. 7th Street 
Arkadelphia, AR 71923 


ARIZONA 


NORTHERN ARIZONA 
COMPUTER CLUB 

Box 122 

Fredonia, AZ 86022 


TUCSON ATARI COMPUTER | 
ORGANIZATION 

3755 E. 22nd Street 

Tucson, AZ 85700 


PAYSON ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 
P.O. Box 919 
Payson, AZ 85541 
CONTINUED ON 55 


You have already 
made your 
first mistake! 


You thought that cassette recorder 
would handle your storage needs. 


WRONG! 


Don’t make 
another one! 


You think you need a disk drive 
to solve your storage problems. 













WRONG! 
You need 2 ASTRA 2001 
8 8 ‘ Single or Double Density 

disk drives 8 Disk Drive 
Any serious application practically m Advanced Circuitry 
demands at least 2 drives. a Rotary Doors 

Word Processing m Direct Drive Motors 

m 500 Kbytes 

ERS m Reliable, Quiet Operation 

Data Base Management ee oe d/\Write 

Mailing List Software | 

m Easy Data Read 
All of these are made more 
powerful and, at the same time, ASTRA “BIG D” 
easier to use if you nave two disk m Double Sided Drives 
drives. a Single or Double Density 
So now it will cost twice as much, a Direct Drive Motors 
right? m /20 Kbytes 
f ALL DRIVES FURNISHED WITH 

WRONG! | SMA LOO > OR My DOS. 
You need an Astra single or double ‘DOUBLE SIDED DRIVES 
density dual disk drive. Two drives For nearest dealer or distributor call 
IN one low-priced unit. (714) 549-2141 
Astra Systems now has ASTRA SYSTEMS, INC. 
two new models for your 2500 South Fairview, Unit L 


ATARI: Santa Ana, California 92704 





NEWS YOU CAN USe 





Atari Loves Kids, and Shows It 


by P.R. Adler 


On December 8th, 1984, three Atari 
Corp. executives, with twenty-six Atari 
800XL computers and 1000 T-shirts, 
participated in the Children’s Holiday 
Celebration, a fund raising event for the 
Scholarship Fund of the Children’s 
Health Council (CHC). 

Atari loaned twenty-four of the 
800XL home computers to the event's 
coordinators. The systems were then 
rented to participants, and the pro- 
ceeds went directly into the Scholar- 
ship Fund. Two of the 800XLs and the 
one-thousand T-shirts were donated to 
the organization; the T-shirts will be 
sold by the Children’s Health Council 
throughout the year. 


14 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 


“It was a neat day,” said Ruth Kap- 
lan, director of fund raising for the 
CHC. According to Kaplan, the three 
Atari people, James Copland, John 
Skruch, and Bryan Kerr contributed 
greatly to the success of the event. 
“They were extremely cooperative and 
helpful, just super people,” she said. 
“Over 500 children paid to use the sys- 
tems that were set up for the celebra- 
tion. The two 800XLs were raffled off 
as door prizes, which raised $1000 for 
the Center.” 


The ° Cinidrens.. « Health Council, 
founded thirty years ago, focuses on 


“multi-problem” children. Ms. Kaplan 





said, “These are children who may 
have learning disabilities coupled with 
neurological damage or seizure disor- 
ders. Parents who have kids with more 
than one problem get conflicting opin- 
ions.” 3 

The CHC runs a therapeutic day 
school where “the whole child” is 
treated and evaluated. Ms. Kaplan told 
us “the CHC is trying to finance schol- 
arships for the day school. The day 
school is expensive, around $9000 a 
year, but many students can go back 
into the public school system after two 
or three years. li-a Kid. can, feel ac- 
cepted, and not that different, then he 
or she can improve.” 


Video Recorders Meet 
Personal Computers 


From Baby's First Step 
to Recording 
Mom's First Video Game 


Using your video recorder (VCR) to 
record baby’s first step is great, but did 
you know that you can team up your 
VCR and Atari computer to record 
Mom's first try at anew video game? 

Have you ever discovered a high- 
scoring strategy for a game and forgot- 
ten what you did by the time the game 


was over? Have you ever had a LOGO. 


program randomly generate the most 
beautiful pattern ever—never to see it 
again? Don’t get upset—just reach for 
a box of video tape. 

By daisychaining your Atari com- 
puter to a VCR and then to your TY, it’s 
possible to make a recording of what- 
ever happens on the screen. This 
makes it easier to debug programs, re- 
view output of graphics programs that 
use random number generators, or get 
an instant replay on your favorite video 
games. If you have a modem, but don’t 
have a disk drive, your VCR can even 
tape your electronic conversations. 

The composite video port, marked 
“monitor,” that exists in all Atari com- 
puters is the key. The only additional 
equipment you need is a cable with a 
5-pin DIN connector at one end, and 
two RCA-type plugs at the other. Re- 
move the TV cables from the “video in” 
port on your VCR. Plug the DIN con- 
nector into your computer, and insert 
the RCA plugs into the video input. 
Leave the video output connection 
alone. Leave the VCR off while you 
turn on your Atari computer and adjust 
the tuning on your TV. Then, if neces- 
sary, turn on the VCR and adjust the 
tuning onit. You are now ready to have 
fun. 

At Atari, VCRs have been used for 
years as an aid to debugging programs 
and games. The testers hook up VCRs 
to their computers before putting a pro- 
gram or game through its paces. “We 
call the programmers with a bug and if 
they can’t fix it, we send them a tape 
that they can play in slow motion,” said 
Eric Ginner, a software tester who has 


16 ATARI EXPLORER APRIL 1985 


worked on many games. The tapes 
provide a backup to the tester’s mem- 
ory. On video tape, the exact sequence 
of commands is stored automatically 
and testing proceeds faster. Ginner has 
also hooked up his home TV to his 


800XL, “just for fun.” 


There are commercial applications, 
too. Briarpatch International, based in 
Mountain View, California manufac- 
tures and markets “The Trivia Tapes,” 
video tapes of trivia questions. Trivia 
fans display the tapes on TV for enter- 
tainment at parties. The tapes are made 
by programming the questions and an- 
swers, using an Atari 800XL computer 
as a data base manager. 

According to Michael Round and 
Jack Thorne, founders of Briarpatch In- 


ternational, they produced “The Trivia 
Tapes” as an outgrowth of their interest 
in trivia, video and computers. Round 
and Thorne own 3 Atari computers, 2 
printers, and 6 disk drives between 
them. Trivia is a big part of Thorne’s act 
as a D.J..in a Cupertino, Calitornia 
night club. “I guess the tapes were a 
natural progression,” Round said. 


To produce the tapes in quantity, 
Round and Thorne hook up an Atari 
computer to as many as 7 VCRs at a 
time. The company uses its Atari com- 
puters for the complete operation—to 
program the tapes, produce them, and 
display them at clubs. 


Coupling a VCR and computer seems 
to be the perfect marriage of tech- 
nologies, and we're sure that you’ve 
discovered some pretty exciting appli- 
cations. If you’re using your Atari com- 
puter with a VCR in an interesting ap- 
plication, we’d like to hear about it— 
and so would our readers! 


Want more information about The Trivia 
Tapes? Then write: 


Briarpatch International 
P.O. Box 39040 
Mountain View, CA 94039 


Online Encyclopedia 


Replacing bulky and expensive pa- 
per volumes with an electronic version 
of the same information, Grolier has 
put its Academic America Encyclopedia 
on five national and three regional vid- 
eotext networks. Grolier offers a spe- 
cial subscription rate of $49.95 a year 
for unlimited reference on Compu- 
Serve. This does not include Compu- 
Serve access charges, which are about 
$6.00 an hour. Subscribers to Gateway, 
a regional videotext system in Cali- 
fornia, have access to the Academic 
American Encyclopedia included in 
their service charge. 


The encyclopedia is updated every 
three months. This is a change from its 
former twice-yearly update policy. 
Grolier also puts more information into 
its electronic encyclopedia than its 
paper edition. There are also fact 
boxes, embedded cross references, See 
Also references, and bibliographies. 


“We just keep expanding,” said Ted 
Mendelsohn, Vice President, Informa- 
tion Services for Grolier Electronic Pub- 
lishing. “We don’t have the paper and 
binding constraints of the traditional 
encyclopedia. We can cover new 
things.” The update policy—a com- 
plete update every 13 weeks—“is un- 
heard of in an encyclopedia,” Mendel- 
sohn said. Updates occur in January, 
July, and October. 

Information from the Grolier elec- 
tronic edition can be downloaded to 
disk to be printed out and viewed at lei- 
sure. However, there are no illustra- 
tions as in paper encyclopediae. 


Grolier Academic American Encyclopedia is 
offered on CompuServe, Dow Jones, BRS, 
Dialog, VulText, and regionally on Gate- 
way, Viewtron, and Keycom. Grolier Elec- 
tronic Publishing 1s located at 95 Madison 
Avenue, New York, NY 10016. 


News from CES: 


Hubot and other Robots 


At the Winter CES, some of the 
newest home electronics were rolling 
around on their own. Heathkit/Zenith, 
Tomy, and Hubotics were showing self- 
controlled robots in Las Vegas. 

Today’s robots are not breaking any 
new ground in technology, but they are 
covering the old ground very nicely. 
The rolling stock incorporates software 
speech synthesis, tape recorders used 
in ingenious ways te record motion 
commands and voice messages, Sonar 
and infrared sensing; radio control, 
and even some programming capabili- 
ties. 

All of the robots on the market today 
combine a few of these technologies. 
Heathkit’s Hero Jr., for example, is pro- 
grammable, navigates without any 
outside guidance, and has speech syn- 
thesis modules and the sensing tech- 
nologies. The Tomy Omnibot has radio 
control, and can record commands and 
voice on a cassette tape. 

There is one robot, though, that in- 
corporates more technologies than any 
other. It is called Hubot, and it resem- 
bles a mobile video cabinet. From the 
top of his beige plastic case down, 


Hubot contains seven kinds of gizmos. 
The robot has, in vertical order, a black 


and white TV, a sonar sensor, a digital 
clock and thermometer, a Z-80 based 


computer, an AM/FM stereo radio, two 
disk drives, and an Atari 2600 VCS 
game player and infrared sensors. It is 
the only robot with a TV and video 
game built in. 

Hubot is controlled by its on-board 
computer, and the programming is 
quite clever. The fact that Hubot has a 
TV screen built in makes it easy to un- 
derstand how to program its functions. 
The options are presented as a menu 
on the screen. “There’s two whole 
sides,” said Michael Forino the presi- 
dent of Hubotics. “The system side is a 
full personal computer. The control 
side is where we have all the other 
functions.” The Hubot computer has 64 
K-bytes of RAM, runs CP/M, and has 
special commands built into its BASIC 
that directly control the robot. | 

Don’t run out and buy Hubot to re- 
place your personal computer, though. 
Hubot costs $3,995, and isn’t in produc- 
tion at the moment. 


The Council on Exceptional 
Children’s Improved Special 
Education Software 


The Council on Exceptional Chil- 
dren, founded in 1922, is a 48,500 mem- 
ber association of educators and ad- 
ministrators who deal with the prob- 
lems of child development and learn- 
ing. Their definition of “exceptional” 
also includes gifted or precocious chil- 
dren. Now, the CEC is going state-of- 
the-art with a new Technology and Media 
Division. One of their goals is to im- 
prove software for special education. 

The CEC is a national organization 
with thirteen special interest divisions. 
These divisions deal with the different 
problems of child development, such 
as mental retardation, learning disabili- 
ties, Communication and behavioral 


disorders, and physical handicaps. The 
newest of the thirteen divisions—the 
Technology and. Media Division—was 
created just to keep abreast of the latest 
technological developments in special 


_ education. This division is sponsoring 


a conference on special educational 
software to be held in Alexandria, VA., 
the first Thursday and Friday in May. 
“The idea is for people to interact with 
the goal of improving software,” said 
Lynn Smarte, public relations director 
for the CEC. Invitations have been sent 
to parents, teachers, publishers and 
program developers, many of whom 
are bringing works-in-progress to the 
Conference. There are also several fed- 


erally funded project groups bringing 
their products for evaluation. Accord- 
ing to Smarte, “It’s not just what’s on 
the market—we’'re evaluating the real 
cutting edge.” 

The CEC has also announced the 
winners of its Special Education Soft- 
ware contest. Two programs for Atari 
computers won honorable mention. 
The programs were “The Talking 
Wheelchair,” developed by John Ben- 
nin who works for the Baraboo, Wis- 
consin School District, and a series of 
programs for gifted children, Odd One 
Out and Ready Set ..., marketed by 
Sunburst Communications, Inc., Pleas- 
antville, New York. 





“The idea 1s for people to 
interact with the goal of 
improving software.” 


The National Conference on Special 
Educational Software is part of the 
CEC’s involvement in the Special Edu- 
cation Software Center. The Center is a 
cooperative venture between SRI Inter- 
national, which provides technical 
help to those who are developing edu- 
cational software. Assistance includes 
access to the LINC Resources data base 
in Columbus, Ohio. | 

According to Phyllis Baker, who is 
coordinating creation of the data base 
at LINC Resources, anyone can call a 
toll-free number, describe the educa- 
tional problem, and find out what soft- 
ware to use. The data base’s parameters 
include factors such as disability or 
learning problem, skill area, computer 
type, and level of curriculum. 

The CEC also publishes many books 
and directories in the field of special ed- 
ucation and will also conduct computer 
searches of their data bases for interest- 
ed parents and educators. More infor- 
mation can be obtained by contacting: 


The Council on Exceptional Children 
1920 Association Drive 
Reston, VA 22091-1589 


The Conference Manager of the Na- 
tional Conference on Special Education 
Software is Elsa Glassman, who can be 
reached at (703) 628-3660. The toll-free 
number for the LINC Software Data- 
base is: 1-800-327-5892. M 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 17 





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20 


I compose my manuscript with Atar- 
Writer and save the text to disk. When 
I’m ready to send my work to my pub- 
lisher I turn on my modem, boot up my 
terminal software, and transmit my 
manuscript over telephone lines— 
without ever having to leave my office. 

Finding an electronic mail service to 
meet our demands wasn’t easy. We 
evaluated a number of services, includ- 
ing EasyLink and Telex WorldWide Access 
from Western Union; The U.S. Postal 
Services E-Mail, The Source; Compu- 
Serve; and MCI Mail. All of these serv- 
ices offer important features and bene- 
fits, and fill different needs. But MCI 
Mail seemed to offer the best features 
for our particular application. Be sure to 
check out each of the available services 
before deciding on an E-Mail service for 
your needs. (see Electronic Mail, ATARI 
CONNECTION, Spring 1984) 


Electronic Mail and My 
Atari Computer: Low Cost 
and Flexible Service 


Low cost was the first thing that 
drew us to electronic mail. Rates differ, 
but all are reasonable. With MCI Mail 
you only pay “postage” for mail that 
you actually send, and an annual $18 
“mail box fee.” Without running up 





-ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 


a bill I can dial a local access number, 
check my “INBOX” to see if I've re- 
ceived any mail, retrieve it, or, com- 
pose or edit a new letter at my “DESK,” 
then log off. 


But cost wasn’t the only criterion. We 
needed a flexible service that would al- 
low us to send instant memos to each 
other, and let me get “hard copy” to the 
publisher the next day, or within a few 
hours if the rush was really on. MCI 
Mail offers us four delivery options: 


> Instant Mail 

> Four-Hour Mail 
> Overnight Mail 
> MCI Letter 


Instant Mailis a fast, low cost delivery 


option that we use to send memos to 


each other. As with all electronic let- 
ters, | write my memo using AtariWri- 
ter. 1 then save the memo on disk, log 
on to the local MCI Mail service, and 
send the memo on its way. When my 
publisher checks his “INBOX” my 
memo is waiting for him—just a few 
seconds after I’ve sent it. He can read 
the memo as it scrolls down his screen, 
save it to disk, or print it out. Instant 
Mail postage is a low $.45 for the first 
500 characters, and $1 for messages be- 
tween 501 and 7500 characters in 
length. 


When I send a manuscript to my 
publisher, it has to be on paper so he 
can distribute it to his editorial staff. 
We've found that the best way to do 
this is by using Four-Hour or Overnight 
services. After the manuscript leaves 
my terminal, it’s transmitted electronic- 
ally to a New York substation, printed 
out by a high-speed laser printer, then 
delivered to the publisher within four 
hours or the next day, depending on 
the option I’ve chosen. Overnight deliv- 
ery costs $8 for the first eight pages of 
text, and $1 for every additional eight 
pages. MCI’s Four-Hour service costs 
$30. These prices have saved us more 
than 40 percent over standard air 
courier services. 

Tusually preface my manuscript with 
a short letter to the publisher. This pref- 
ace is printed on a copy of my letter- 
head stationery, with a replica of my 
signature imprinted above my type- 
written name. Advanced users can reg- 
ister a number of signatures and letter- 
heads on the system, then choose the 
one that’s right for each occasion. 

I don’t use MCIl’s Letter option when 
I correspond with my publisher—it’s 
just not fast enough for our needs. But, 
I do use this delivery option to send let- 
ters to friends, and to answer reader’s 
queries: Letters are first transmitted 
electronically to the post office nearest 
the recipient’s address, then delivered 
by regular mail. For cross-country cor- 
respondence, this option usually cuts 
the delivery time down from three to 
two days, and the $2 postal charge per 
letter is often worth the convenience of 
being able to take care of all my corres- 
pondence without having to leave my 
office. : 


Easy to Use Electronic Mail 


MCI Mail, like most other E-Mail 
services, is easy to use. All the com- 
mands you enter are in plain English. 
Here’s a sample of the screen you see 
when you log on as a regular user: 
You may enter: 


SCAN forasummary of your mail 
READ to READ messages or LISTS 
PRINT to display messages nonstop 
CREATE to write an MCI letter 


CREATE LIST to make a distribution list 
DOWJONES._ to Dow Jones News/Retrieval 
ACCOUNT _ toadjust terminal display 
HELP for assistance 

Typing any of these one-word com- 
mands moves you through the system. 
When you arrive at each system sub- 


level, you're asked to enter information 
in a logical fashion, just as if you are 
working at your desk. Of course, if you 
ever get stuck you can type “HELP.” If 
the going really gets rough, you can call 
MCI’s Customer Support people at a 
toll-free number. 


Correspondence at the 
Speed-of-Light - 


MCI Mail offers services for indi- 
viduals and businesses—I’ve covered 
only the services I use. All you need to 
get your correspondence moving at the 
speed-of-light is an Atari computer, the 
AtariWriter word processor, terminal 
software that allows up- and down- 
loading, a modem, and an electronic 
mail service subscription. 


A Bonus Program to Format 
Your Electronic | 
Correspondence 


MCI Mail, like many other electronic 
mail services, is accustomed to receiv- 
ing correspondence that is composed 
on an 80-column word processor. They 
ask that you press RETURN at the end 
of each 80-column line. This means that 
when you compose a letter using Afari- 
Writer, you have to press RETURN 
every other screen line (you’re working 
on a 40-column screen). 

We've provided a program named 
“Formatter” at the end of this article 
that does this for you automatically! It 
takes files created with AtariWriter and 


creates a new file formatted specifically 
for MCI Mail. 


Electronic Production: 
Typesetting from 
Your Atari Computer 


Sending manuscript electronically to 
my publisher dramatically reduces the 
project’s overall time. But only half the 
job is complete. After I receive the 
edited copy, the book has to move into 
the “production phase.” This is where 
my words get typeset and pasted onto 
book-sized boards for the printer. 

Until recently, typesetting was a 
cumbersome and error-prone process. 
First I’d deliver a printed copy of my 
manuscript to the typesetter. Then a 
keypunch operator would retype my 
words into the machine. Because oper- 
ators make typing mistakes, I had to 


spend valuable time editing galleys (the 
typesetting machine’s first output). 

Now, with the help of AtariWriter and 
my Atari 830 modem, I’m able to trans- 
mit my manuscripts directly to the 
typesetting machine, bypassing the 
operator and removing any chance for 
typing errors, speeding up the process, 
and reducing typesetting costs. 

Most typesetters are now equipped 
to receive your text electronically over 
telephone lines. But you've got to lay a 
little groundwork before you can take 
advantage of direct electronic transfer. 


Typesetting Codes 

After you've chosen.a type style for 
your manuscript, you and the typeset- 
ter have to mutually agree on a set of 
codes. When you imbed these codes in 


your text they'll automatically “tell” the 
typesetting machine how to treat each 


letter or phrase. 


Here’s a sample list of some typical 
typesetting codes and their functions 
to give you the idea: 


<ct> Begin Chapter Title—Large 
bold type, centered 

<ctx> End Chapter Title 

<h1i>  #Head1—Large bold type, 
left justified 

<h2>  Head2—Medium bold type, 
left justified 








<txtl> Text1—Regular text 
<txt2> Text2—Bold text 
<it> Begin italics 

<itx> End italics 

<bl> _— Begin bulleted list 
<blx> Endbulleted list 
<np> Newparagraph 


In these examples, each abbreviated 
typesetting code is surrounded with 
'— and >. These symbols: set the 
codes apart from regular text, and tell 
the typesetting machine to give special 
treatment to the text that follows. You 
can surround your codes with any 
symbol that isn’t tyically used in your 
text—a backslash (/) is a common favo- 
rite. 

Imbedding codes in your text be- 
comes second nature with a little prac- 
tice, and is made easy with AtariWriter’s 
search-and-replace feature. 

Here’s what text looks like with 
codes imbedded and ready for trans- 
mission to the typesetter: 
<ct>Introduction<ctx> 
PALS 
Here’s what text looks like with <it> 
codes<itx> imbedded. 
<np-> 
<h1>Ready for Transmission<h1x> 
<txt1>_ 

This is ready for transmission. All you 
CONTINUED 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 21 





have @ot te dois press ic? hE 
TURN<txt1>, and you're all set. 
<np> 

In this example, “Introduction” is 
surrounded: by: “=cte “and. etx > 
because it is a chapter title. When the 
document is actually printed the word 
“codes” is italicized; “Ready for Trans- 
mission” is a large bold type head; and 
“RETURN” is printed in bold type. 


| 2: POK 

ead peal 

| ime 
40 GS=". MCI" 


88 7 CHRSC125): PRIN 
_ ‘ENAME us __ 
68 IMPLY FS 

ee: CLOSE Hh OPEN a1 


22 “ALARTLEXPLORER °-APRIEA985 


Terminal Software 


Any terminal software that lets you 
upload (send information to a distant 
terminal), and select the parity between 
computers (odd, even, or none) works 
fine. I’ve been using JONESTERM and 
AMODEM public domain software 
that I got from my local Atari users 
group, but the choice is yours. 


A Telecomputing Shopping 
List 
To take advantage of electronic mail, 
or have your latest masterpiece elec- 
tronically typeset, you need the follow- 
ing equipment as a minimum. 
- Atari Computer—48K RAM 
minimum 
- Disk drive—1 each, minimum 
- Modem— Atari 830, 835, 1030 or third 
party 
- AtariWriter word processor 
- Terminal Software—commercial or 
public domain 


Don't Lick Any More Stamps 


Electronic mail and electronic type- 
setting are great time and money-sav- 
ers for business people, writers, and 


anyone else who needs to get the word 
out fast. Both services have saved me 
many hours of waiting in line, and lick- 
ing stamps. 

Happy telecomputing! 


Using Formatter 


First enter the Formatter program 
and save it to disk. When you run For- 
matter you'll be asked to: 

ENTER DEVICE:FILENAME — 

Enter the letter D, a colon and the 
name of the text file you’ve created 
using AtariWriter, then press RETURN. 
Don’t use a filename extension when 
you name your text file. For example, 
“WORDS” is a good name, but 
“WORDS:TXT” won't work with this 
program. Numbers in the upper left- 
hand corner of your screen count each 
word as your text is loaded into the 
computer. 

Once your text is loaded, the pro- 
gram formats your correspondence 
then asks you to “Swap disks and press 
RETURN.” Place your “communica- 
tions disk” (a blank formatted disk) in 
your disk drive, press RETURN, and 
your formatted text is saved with the 
extender “.MCI” tagged on to its name 
to identify it as a file that’s ready for 
electronic mail. aM 





~ EDUCATION 


Tom Snyder: From Rock ‘n Roll 





om Snyder is president of Tom 
snyder Productions, Inc., a four- 
year-old company that is devel- 
oping some of the hottest edu- 
cational game software around. 
His Agent U.S.A. published by Scho- 
lastic, recently won the Electronic Games 
award for “Best Educational Game of 
the Year” and made Billboard's Top Ten 
Software chart. 





Tom, a native of Wellesley, Massa- 
chusetts, is a school teacher turned 
software designer. His interest in com- 


puters dates from 1964 when Tom, then 


a high school student, discovered a 
book about computers in his school’s li- 
brary. That book motivated Tom to de- 
sign a computer circuit and a primitive 
computer that won third prize at an 
IMIT’-setence fam, Then his interest 
waned. Tom went on to college, where 
he majored in French literature. After 
graduating, he joined a rock and roll 
band in New York City. 


Eventually, Tom turned to teaching 
and it was during his teaching years 
that he again became interested in com- 
puters. This time he discovered the 
power of the computer in a classroom 
setting. | 


AE: When did your interest in computers 
resume? 


TS: I can remember a year before I got 
my first microcomputer—I saw it and 
couldn't believe that you could actually 
buy a computer for 800 bucks. Even 
though I wasn’t a programmer, and I 
didn’t know anything about computers 
—except what I had taught myself 
years before—lI appreciated the power 
that they were selling in this tiny little 
box that you could buy for your home. 


by Connie Connors 





Tom Snyder in the playtesting lab. 


AE: Did you buy it with school in mind? 


TS: No, but while I was a teacher, I 
thought of the computer as something 
to lighten up the drudgery. So, I started 
writing programs to do grades and 
keep reports on kids. And then slowly, 
the computer started creeping into the 
kind of teaching I did. But I never in- 
tended it to be an educational tool, and 
[still really don’t. I’m still very skeptical 
about the computer being explicitly 
educational—or specifically curricular. 
Because all of the teachers that I knew, 
in addition to being organized and in- 
telligent people, taught by force of per- 
sonality. I had always believed that that 
was the most important thing in teach- 


ing. 


to Educational Software 





“The computer helped me 
manage and enrich the 
environment—lt got 

the kids excited.” 


But, what I started doing—and this 
has become the entire key element of 


success in the home market—was 
using the computer to help me manage 
and enrich the environment that | 
created. It got the kids excited. 

For example, I used to do big simula- 
tions where the kids would pretend 
they were ona rocket ship to the moon. 
They would role play and have to keep 
track of their provisions, and in the 
course of doing this they would learn 

CONTINUED 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 


MARVIN LEWITON 


D> 


bree tea 7 al] 6 Aantal 





something about the solar system. 

In the process, I started learning 
tricks to make the computer actually 
improve the quality of the simulations. 
There were group dynamics that the 
computer let me do, that nothing else 
would. So by the time I was through, | 
had five little simulations that were 
really unique environments that the 
kids were getting excited about. But the 
computer wasn’t really teaching. The 
kids were teaching each other, or I was 
teaching them, or the books that came 


with the simulations that I wrote were © 


teaching them—the computer was just 
creating the particular environment 
that let them learn. And then we 
started the company. 


AE: How do you begin designing a learn- 
Ing game? 

TS: We begin with an environment. | 
disdain starting with a “skill.” If you 
start with a skill you build this artificial 
thing. So we use a much broader per- 
spective. We create the environment in 
which that skill matters. A new pro- 
gram that we're designing now is Hal- 
ley’s Comet. A lot of people are making 
Star Wars kind of games with space 
ships but they don’t teach you any- 
thing about outer space. We really 
wanted to capitalize on that, plus the 
fact that Halley’s Comet is coming in 
two years. Also, we thought the solar 
system would be a neat body of knowl- 
edge to teach—using all the planets 


24 ATARI EXPLORER APRIL 1985 


and their temperatures, gravities, and 
atmospheres. If you take a body o 
knowledge that is geographically lo- 
cated, then you have your environ- 
ment automatically. 

We had to spend a lot of time on the 
mathematics of it. If you think about it 


for a second, if you want the entire — 
solar system to be in the simulation, 


and to be 100% accurate, the distance 
from one end of the solar system to the 
other is an incredibly long way. That’s 
hundreds of trillions of miles, and so 
the simulation has to be able to deal 
with numbers that large. In order to 
orbit and manipulate your spaceship, 
you need a measure-of-scale-system 
that works all the way from one-kilom- 
eter to hundreds of miles—or the dis- 
tance of the entire solar system. 

Once we had that environment, we 
started working on what we'll call the 
game. We don’t actually refer to it as 
the “game” though, we call it the “fic- 
tion,’ because we want to make sure it’s 


more than “do the following five - 


things.” It’s got to have more character 
to it. There were a million ideas for the 
fiction on Halley’s Comet, but we 
wanted to come up with fiction that 
gave you incentive to go all over the 
solar system so that you learn the rela- 





“Educational hooks built in 
—things that grab you.” 


A father called me the other day and 
said, “How can I buy worthwhile soft- 
ware for my kid? I just bought a com- 
puter. What can I get?” I told him to go 
into a computer store, preferably all by 
himself, spend one hour, and have the 
salesman show him the “coolest” piece 
of software he has—the one that in- 
trigues you, the parent. Buy whatever 
turns you on, and seems to demon- 
strate the most outrageous new use the 
computer could have. I told him to take 
it home and play with it. I said that if it’s 
really intriguing to you it’s automatically 
going to have little educational hooks built 
into 1t—little things that grab you and 
teach you something, or inspire you. | told 
him to start using the software when 
he got home, and that the kid would 
end up in his lap, or at the computer in 
about ten minutes. Then I said, “you 
just sort of let it grow from there.” 


AE: When does the “learning” begin? 


TS: Don’t try to force educational con- 
tent on your kid—you'll get it along 
with the fun. If you're walking by your 
childrens’ room and you see them play- 
ing AGENT U.S.A. for instance, and 


If it’s intriguing it’s automatically 
going to have educational hooks, 
things that teach you or inspire you. 


tionship of all these celestial bodies to 
each other. We built the fiction which 
has to do with you, this agent, and 
you're taking this performer around 
the solar system, and he’s from Earth. 
The performer has this concert sched- 
ule all over the solar system, and the 
longer you can keep him playing, the 
higher you rise on the celestial top forty 
chart. 


AE: What should teachers and parents look 
for in educational software? 

TS: My answer is slightly different for 
home and schools, as it should be. Par- 
ents call me all the time saying, “I don’t 
know how to judge if software is edu- 
cational or not.” The point I most often 
make in reply is that software for the 
home has got to be an enjoyable experi- 
ence. 


you hear the kids talking to each other 
about the quickest route from Denver 
to Dallas, you don’t have to be a profes- 
sional educator to know something’s 
happening there. 


AE: What do you think about early learn- 
ing software, now that you are a father? 


TS: There’s a “play testing” program 
run by a guy at Harvard where kids 
come to his office in the afternoon. 
We've invented a term for the little kids 
called “lapware.” It’s unbelievably 
bogus. What we mean is, yeah maybe 
early learning software appears to 
work, but the only reason it looks this 
way is because there’s a kid sitting on 
someone's lap, and what they’re really 
trying to do is have a relationship with 
that person—not the software. 


The Personal Computer: 
Learning Tool of the ‘80s 


by Elisabeth Van Nuys 


Interest in using computers for edu- 
cational purposes is at an all-time high. 
Many parents, as well as teachers, are 


aware of the computer's potential as an | 


educational tool, but there’s a good 
deal of discussion about the best ways 
to utilize that tool. 

simulations, tutorials, drill and prac- 
tice, word-processing, and program- 
ming all have their advocates and they 
can all teach children something. The 
problem is that there are two aspects to 
education: teaching and learning. Ideal- 
ly, they go hand in hand. But, as even 
the best teacher will admit, the one 
does not always follow the other. 

Children are great learners and the 
sheer amount of information that a 
child absorbs between infancy and 
adolescence is staggering. Yet, children 
learn selectively. They may resist learn- 
ing some of the things we want them to 
learn while picking up information and 
behaviors that can drive us up the wall. 
Just exposing children to educational 
programs isn’t enough. Children have 
to be motivated to use the material if 
they’re to learn from it. The computer, 
if used wisely, can be a powerful and 
attractive means for delivering educa- 
tional material in a patient, non- 
threatening, and enjoyable way. 

There are at least three different 
ways in which children can be moti- 
vated to learn with a computer. The 
first is to use extrinsic rewards. With 
extrinsic rewards, the program can be 
as dull as dishwater. The reward for 
using it comes later, in the form of bet- 
ter grades, higher scores, or other rein- 
forcers. Parents use extrinsic rewards 
all the time. It’s the old “if you do the 
dishes, then you can watch TV” ploy. It 
works—some of the time. 

A second approach is to include 
motivators and rewards as part of the 
program. This is where we get all those 
“bells and whistles,” included in some 


of the better educational programs. An 
attractive little tune that signals a cor- 
rect answer, colorful graphics that fol- 
low correct input, all these and more, 
are designed to keep a child going and 
learning without much fuss. They’re 
useful and they work—much of the 
time. 


The third approach is to make a pro- | 


gram so entertaining, so interesting, so 
rewarding in itself, that a child absorbs 
the educational content almost without 
being aware of it. Tom Sawyer used this 
trick to get his friends to whitewash his 
fence for him. He made the work of 
painting a fence seem like such a lark 
that kids were paying him for the 
privilege. Now that’s motivation with a 
capital “M.” It works almost every time 
—if the motivator is strong enough. 
This issue, we'll be looking at pro- 
grams that fall into that third category 
—educational games. Or, should we 
say games with an educational compo- 
nent? The distinction between the two 
gets a little blurry at times. Designing 
this kind of software, and doing it suc- 
cessfully, is like walking a tightrope. If 





the game doesn’t “play,” kids won't 
want to use it. If there’s nothing to be 
learned by playing it, parents and 
teachers may give it a “thumbs down.” 
These considerations have to be care- 
fully weighed before the game goes 
into the box. Once it’s out, it’s up to the 
consumer to make the final decision. 
Tom Snyder is one of the few soft- 
ware designers who has been success- 
fulin the educational game category. In 
our profile section this month, we fea- 
ture an interview with Tom. His ideas 
about the use of game programs to pro- 
vide “educational environments” that 
encourage human interaction are dem- 
onstrated by the kinds of programs he 
designs. Interestingly, teachers Rafael 
Rivera and Greg Varley (who reviewed 
Snyder’s Agent U.S.A. and Bannercatch) 
mentioned the interactive elements of 
Tom’s programs as one of their out- 
standing features. They did this before 
knowing the philosophy behind the 
games. To quote Varley: “The way 
these programs encourage cooperation 
and communication between players is 
absolutely marvelous.” We agree. 


Kids Teaching Kids 


by Marsha Arnold 


Just five minutes from the Golden 
Gate bridge, ina district known as “the 
Avenues,” 320 elementary school stu- 
dents are slowly but surely making 
their way into the computer age. 

Sutro Elementary School's first step 
on the road to high technology occurred 
a little over a year ago when it received 
two Atari 800 computers. Last Septem- 
ber, two more Atari computers were 
purchased for the fourth and fifth 
grade classes. 


Computer technology is still un- 
familiar and perhaps a bit scary to some 
of the teachers. The teachers have an 
incredible number of things to do and 
little time for setting up computer cur- 
ricula. The professionals at Sutro faced | 
these facts and said, “Why not let kids 
teach kids?” And soa peer teaching ap- 
proach was tried. Here at Sutro, the 
learning flows not only from teacher to 
student but from student to student as 
well. CONTINUED 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 25 


26 


Two very bright 
Brenda Ng and Florence Fong, are in 
charge of the computer program in Rita 
Stewart's well-run fifth grade class- 
room. They choose a program from a 
selection of tapes stored in the resource 
room, set it up, explain it to the other 
students, 
problems arise. 

The morning I visited Rita’s class I 
observed an enthusiastic threesome at 
one of the Atari 800’s. One student is- 
sued the commands, another typed 
them im,.and: the’ third checked the 
input. 


“They didn’t want to stop!” 


Mrs. Stewart's fifth graders don’t 
limit their helping skills to each other. 
They also take turns teaching the kin- 
dergarteners and first graders com- 
puter skills. “They didn’t even want to 
stop!” exclaimed one fifth grader of her 
two energetic apprentices. 

One of the goals of teachers at Sutro 
is to get as many children as possible to 
use and master the computer. The peer 
teaching approach seems to fill the bill. 
It not only frees the teacher to work 
with other students, but makes the 
children responsible for each others’ 
learning successes. In Peggy Cough- 
lin’s third grade classroom, two stu- 
dents used the Do It Yourself Spell pro- 
gram to practice spelling words while 
Peggy worked with the rest of the class 
on math problems. The pair delighted 
in each other’s successes. They set out 
to conquer those spelling words to- 
gether and had fun doing it. 


Give Your Computer a 


Breath of Fresh Air 


The computer can indeed be a social- 
izing agent rather than an isolating 
one. It helps to have the computer in 
the classroom, as they are at Sutro, 


rather than hidden away in a musty 


corner of the school library. In this way, 
computers become almost as familiar to 
students as pencil and paper. The at- 
mosphere in the room becomes one of 
intimate cooperation in which kids 
know they can get help from each 
other. Good-natured conversation, in- 
terspersed with a fair amount of laugh- 
ter, was what I heard as I dae eee 
the computers: 

“What did you do that for? You were 
right!” 

“It’s easy. You just type it in.” 


ATARI EXPLORER APRIL 1985 


fifth-graders, | 


and trouble-shoot when. 


“All right. You got one. Great!” 

“like playing around with it.” 

And playing around with the computer 
was what the children were doing. The 
peer teaching approach just makes 
play, and learning, more fun. 


“Why did you mess 
up my program?” 

Because the students view their time 
with the computer as fun, it is a non- 
threatening experience. 
Fouche and his teammate had just 
managed to erase a good ten minutes 
worth of work. Did I see tears? Frustra- 
tion? Not at all. Bright-eyed Kamura 
leaned over and whispered to his 
friend, giggling, “The computer has a 


face, and he looks at you and says, 


‘Why did you mess up my program?” 
No threat there! Peggy Coughlin, Su- 


tro’s unofficial computer specialist, 


reinforces that the children’s coping 
skills sometimes work better with a 
computer than with a teacher. “It’s not 
a person. It’s a computer telling them 
so they'll try it again. An adult isn’t 
there to say, ‘I told you so.’ It’s between 
them and the computer.” 


Peer Teaching 
Par Excellence 


The.concept of peer teaching was 
perhaps best expressed by an eager 
third grader in Peggy’s room. Tataneka 
Nelson spends some of her free time 
teaching her younger sister computer 
skills. “I teach her how to push the 
keys,” says Tataneka. 

“She knows how to do it as well as I 
do now.” She pauses and adds, “My 
mom’s having another baby, and I’m 
going to teach her too.” Peer teaching 

. par excellence! 


Kumura 





Bannercatch 
Capture the Flag 


Plus! 
Reviewed by Greg Varley 


Searching for an enjoyable, challeng- 
ing, educational game for your chil- 
dren? Bannercatch, designed by Tom 
Snyder Productions, and published by 
Scholastic may be just what you're 
looking for. 

In its simplest form, Boh eeat isa 
game of “capture the flag.” At its more 
difficult levels it is almost an arcade 
game, requiring quick reflexes and fast 
thinking. Better yet, Bannercatch offers 
some real learning opportunities in the 
areas of cooperative planning, math 
skills, and map reading. It’s essential to 
know that this is a two-player game. It 
demands cooperation and is an excel- 
lent game for parents who want to 
share the fun of using the computer 
with their children. Whoever the two 
players are, they'll be friends before the 
game is over. They have to be, because 
Bannercatch is a game that encourages 
communication and teamwork. 


Meet MAX, the Evil Robot 


There are five levels in Bannercatch, 
and in each the objective is to capture 
your opponent’s flag and to return it to 
your own territory. The difference in 
Bannercatch is that your opponent is 
never another player. Your opponent is 
the program, personified as “MAX,” 
and his band of evil robots. One of the 
key points is that no one has ever seen 
MAX’s face. When you defeat one of 
MAX’s robots, a small portion of MAX’s 





face is revealed. Using a blank graph 
provided with the game, you draw in 
MAX’s face and read the message that 
awaits the successful player. 


Teaming up for Success 


Definitely a two-player game, Ban- 
nercatch is designed for team play and 
would be difficult to play alone. To win, 
the two players must work together. 
After playing this game extensively 
with my son, we found that we had to 
understand what each of us was going 
to do. If we didn’t jointly plan things 
out clearly, we were in for trouble. Ban- 
nercatch does an excellent job of teach- 
ing the value of teamwork and helps 
create an understanding of the differ- 
ent roles within a team. 


Understand Binary and 


Decimal Numbers and 
Find the Robot 


Parts of the game require that the 
players learn certain concepts which 
will make the players’ job easier. At any 
time during the game, players can 
“tap” into MAX’s communication sys- 
tem. After they’ve done that, they’ve 
got to convert binary numbers into 
their decimal equivalents to under- 
stand where things can be found. 

By using materials provided with the 
game, I explained to my son the con- 
cept of 8 bits ina byte, and how each bit 
can represent a decimal number. From 
that lesson, my son quickly learned to 
add up the bits to determine where 
game characters and objects, like the 
robot's flag or an individual robot, was 
or where it was going. 


Developing Map 
Reading Skills 


In addition to learning the teamwork 
and: math skills needed to play this 
game, the players are also encouraged 
_to learn map reading skills. Each player 
can only “see” a small space around the 
“human” that he is currently using, 
and the program only indicates that the 
“human” is in a certain sector. How- 
ever, the playfield is divided into a grid 
with 64 sectors. A grid map is provided 
to help players figure out how to get 
where they want to go. 


Ease of Use 


_ The best way to familiarize yourself 


with Bannercatch is to first run it 
through its demonstration mode. Then 
you can begin play, turning to the man- 
ual for some of the finer details as the 
game progresses. 


Bannercatch is suggested for ages 9 


and up. I would agree with that age 
range provided that the younger chil- 
dren can handle a certain amount of 
frustration. The game itself is reason- 
ably simple at the lower levels, but it 
may still take some time to, learn the 
“tricks.” This is not a program a parent 
can use as a babysitter. You should plan 


to get actively involved in playing and — 


helping your youngster play. Even 
when two children are playing, an 
adult may need to help them the first 
few times. 


A Highly Recommended 


Program 


Overall, Bannercatch is exciting and 
enjoyable to play. Most importantly, it 
succeeds in teaching the concepts of 
teamwork and planning, binary num- 
bers, and map reading skills. 


Bannercatch is packaged in a sturdy 
plastic case that holds a game disk, 
manual, grip map, translation card (for 
interpreting MAX’s questions), a graph 
sheet (for drawing MAX’s face), a 
poster, and six Bannercatch stickers. 


The highest recommendation for 
Bannercatch is that my son, age 11, wants 
to play it everyday. He also asked if we 
can keep our review copy so he doesn’t 
have to wait for me to buy a copy. 


One of these days, the two of us will 
complete level 5, and see all of MAX’s 
face! 








Agent U.S.A. 


Travel, Action, 
Education! 


Reviewed by 
Rafael Rivera 


Agent U.S.A. by Tom Snyder Produc- 
tions teaches geography ina lively, fun- 
filled, game format. Through the proc- 
ess of saving the United States from the 
“FuzzBomb,” children learn the loca- 
tions, shapes, and sizes of the states as 
well as the position of their capital and 
primary cities. In addition, kids also 
learn how to read and plan travel 
itineraries using train schedules. 

Agent U.S.A. is designed for ages 9 to 
adult. After testing it with youngsters 
in the 10 to 12 age range, I find that Ican 
definitely recommend it. It’s fun, kids 
enjoy it immensely and it generates a 
lot of excitement. 

The stage is set for this adventure 
with the recounting of Professor Elma 
Sniddle’s experience. While seeking a 
power source for her newly invented 
TV, a dozen glowing crystals fell into 
her ‘backyard. Upon placing one of 
these crystals into her invention, she 
was struck by a ray that turned her into 
a mass of fuzzy static. She was sub- | 
sequently turned back into her former 
self, but only after accidentally step- 
ping on another of the mysterious crys- 


tals. Meanwhile, the TING has been 
transformed into the nefarious 


CONTINUED 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 27 


FuzzBomb!, which is now on the loose 
about the United States, transforming 
citizens into “FuzzBodies” wherever it 
goes. 


You, as Agent U.S.A., must find and 
destroy the FuzzBomb. For this task 
you must rely on an identification card; 
a plastic-coated map of the United 
States; access to information bulletins; 
photographs of the menace and his vic- 
tims; your own intelligence and experi- 
ence; and the ten remaining crystals 
from Elma Sniddle’s backyard. The 
crystals, which are able to reproduce, 
are your primary weapons and de- 
fense. 


Agent U.S.A.’s creators have made 
good use of the graphics and sound ca- 
pabilities of the Atari computer. The 
graphics are entertaining and appro- 
priate to the point of depicting accurate 
skylines of the cities visited by Agent 
U.S.A. The sounds of trains arriving 
and departing are complete with Dopp- 
ler effect—a rise in pitch as the train ap- 
proaches, and a fall in pitch as the train 
recedes. The traveling music has been, 
for some of my students, reason 
enough to play this game. 


I had my sixth grade class work with 
the program in the classroom. I divided 





28 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 


the class into groups of two and three 
and gave each group twenty minutes 
to explore the game. After they had 
several opportunities to play, we had a 
class discussion about their experi- 
ences with the program. Then they 
wrote their responses to these four 
questions: 


. What is the object of this game? 

. What did you learn from this game? 
. What did you like about the game? 

. How would you change this game? 


HS Coho 


Here are the students’ reactions to 
these questions. 

The object: Most of the students felt 
that the object of Agent U.S.A. was to 
destroy the FuzzBomb. I would 
suggest that the learning objective 
should be stated in the program itself 
—it wasn't. 

What was learned: Most of the stu- 
dents said that they learned the names 
and locations of states, and how to 
spell the city names. Familiarization 
with the computer keyboard, and how 
to buy a ticket were mentioned by 
many students. I found two unique re- 
sponses: “I learned how to gypa train,” 
and “You have to catch the train on 
time. You need to be careful and cau- 
tious about things.” 


What they like: Most of the students 
said that they really liked the sound 
and graphics elements of the game. 
The city skylines were considered an 
especially nice feature. Several liked 


- being able to move all over the United 


States looking for FuzzBodies. 


What they would change: “FuzzBodies 
that didn’t move so much,” said several 
students. Others would have preferred 
typing a number, rather than having to 
hunt-and-peck the names of the cities 
they wanted to get to. Several students 
wanted to replace the trains with cars 
or planes, and one girl wanted to be 
able to go into the cities. Most of the 
students wanted the game speeded up. 


Most of my students felt that the 
names of the states, as well as their lo- 
cations, can be learned from this game. 
The majority also felt that Agent U.S.A. 
would be useful in the home as well as 
in the classroom, though I see it pri- 
marily for home use. | 


I found Agent U.S.A. to be an enter- 
taining and absorbing game that pre- 
sents geographical material in a lively, 
playable, context. Sixth-graders were 
able to use this game after only the 
briefest introduction, and they (and 
their teacher) had a lot of fun playing it. 


Stickybear Numbers 


A Friendly Counting 
Program for Pre-Schoolers 


Reviewed by Elisabeth Van Nuys 


Stickybear Numbers is an elegant intro- 
duction to counting and number skills 


for children ages 3 to 6. Like its com- 


panion, Stickybear ABC, this program 
makes good use of the Atari’s graphics 
and sound capabilities. The high-reso- 
lution pictures are a pleasure to see, 
and each animated sequence is accom- 
panied by its own sound. This is one 
piece of software parents and teachers 
can use without reservation. The edu- 
cational objectives are clear: number 
recognition, counting from 0-9, and 
basic addition and _ subtraction—all 
presented in a format that’s easy to 
grasp. If this is your first foray into soft- 
ware designed for the sandbox set—go 
for it. Stickybear Numbers will be an ex- 




















cellent addition to your software li- 
brary. 

Since it is intended for use by very 
young children, Stickybear Numbers is 
very friendly. Just press any number, 
or the space bar, and you're in business. 
Better yet, let your children try it. As 
the documentation suggests: “Chil- 
dren learn best by experimenting for 
themselves. Try to resist that almost 
overpowering impulse to intervene in 
the discovery process. You can have 
your turn later!” And you'll want to 
have that turn. So will almost anyone 
else who sees this program. I speak 
from experience. Having settled my 
twins (aged three) at the keyboard one 
day, I went to answer the telephone. It 
was a short conversation. Howls of 
frustration and screams of, “You're 
hogging my Stickybear!” soon brought 
me back into the family room where an 
unbelievable sight met my eyes. There, 
in front of the Atari, was Jonathan, our 
twelve-year-old game pro, playing in- 
tently with a piece of pre-school soft- 
ware! And he was hogging it! 

Jonathan is well past the stage of 
number recognition, but I still had 
trouble prying him away from the key- 
board. “Look at this,” he said, “these 
pictures just go on forever.” He had a 
good point, for, unlike the ABC pro- 
gram (which offers two animated se- 
quences for every letter pressed), Sticky- 
bear Numbers offers a large number of 
pictures for every numeral. 

Pressing the spacebar adds another 
dimension of learning fun. Use of the 
number keys, 0-9, reinforces number 
recognition and counting skills, but the 
spacebar is the key to simple addition 
and subtraction. Press 5, and you may 
see five colorful stars rotating on the 
screen. Press the spacebar—and one 
star disappears! The numeral shown 
on the screen changes as well, showing 
that you now have 4 stars. Press the 
space bar again and another star disap- 
pears and so on, down to zero. The 
space bar can then be used to increase 
the number of objects back to nine. 

Stickybear Numbers requires an Atari 
computer with 48K and a disk drive. In- 
cluded in the package are: the disk, a 
hard cover book, stickers, and a Sticky- 
bear Numbers poster. But, I’d be remiss 
if I failed to mention the documenta- 
tion that comes with this program. It’s 
blessedly brief, delightful, and to the 
_ point, offering sane guidelines for par- 
ents who want to make learning as 
much fun as it ought to be. 








Stickybear ABC 
ABC's For Youngsters 
Reviewed by Elisabeth Van Nuys 





Stickybear ABC is a delightful, clear, 
and easy-to-use introduction to the al- 
phabet for very young children. 

It’s hard to find fault with this pro- 
gram. The animated graphics are very 
attractive and the music fits the action 
very nicely. Stickybear himself is an ap- 
pealing character, and children, as well 
as adults, seem to enjoy his antics. 

To use this program, a child needs 
only press one of the letter keys to call 
up one of two animated sequences. 
Auditory feedback, in the form of mu- 
sical notes, immediately signals the 
child that his input has been received 
and that he has correctly chosen one of 
the letter keys. There’s no need to 
worry that a very young child will press 
some other keys accidentally. The pro- 
gram anticipates such “errors.” 

When a child presses one of the 
number keys, a different set of notes is 
heard and nothing happens. The child 
simply tries again. 

As an educator, | find this method of 
error handling ideal. Very young chil- 
dren, just beginning to explore a com- 
puter’s keyboard, don’t need to have 
their enthusiasm dampened by buzzes, 
raspberries, or other negative feed- 
back. By rewarding correct input with 
action and by responding to errors with 
patience, Stickybear ABC sets a superior 
standard for software designed for the 
very young. : | 

I tested this program with our three- 
year-old twins, as well as with a review 
group of pre-schoolers, and it came out 
a winner. None of the children had any 
difficulty in using the program and all 
seemed really responsive to the action 
sequences called up by their keystrokes. 

Will Stickybear ABC teach your child 
to know the letters of the alphabet? The 


answer is yes—if you participate in 
using the program with your child. No 
program can “teach” letters. It can only 
present them. Your child may recog- 
nize the shape of the letter on the 
screen and learn to identify a similar 
shape on the keys, but to learn the ac- 
tual letter names, requires a little adult 
(or older child) input. For example, a 
child may see two leaning lines that 
touch at the top and have a bar in the 
middle. At the beginning, it’s important 
for someone who knows these things 
to point to that letter and say: “That's a 
letter A.” Most children of three catch 
on quite quickly and are soon naming 
the letters for themselves. I’d like to 
emphasize that this need for parental 
(or teacher) intervention is not a flaw in 
the design of this program. In fact, this 
is one of its strengths because, for chil- 
dren of this age, social interaction can 
only add extra fun and a feeling of 
closeness to the learning experience. 

Stickybear ABC is an electronic alpha- 
bet book and, like the better books of 
this kind, draws children back, time 
and time again, to savor their mastery 
of the material. My only disappoint- 
ment, from an adult standpoint, stems 
from the lack of any further levels in 
the program. But this didn’t seem to 
dismay the children at all. 

As far as letter recognition programs 
go, Stickybear ABC is one of the best I’ve 
seen. It’s attractive, clear, and easy to 
use. Best of all, it comes packaged with 
a variety of other materials, such as | 
stickers, a full-color alphabet poster, 
and a hard-cover book featuring the 
whole Stickybear family. These addi- 
tions make Stickybear ABC a multi- 


media presentation that’s hard to beat. 
M 


APRIL 985% “ATARI EXPEORER S29 


LOGO NOTIONS== 


Demons, Turtles and Things 
That Go Bump in the Night — 


Demons to the Rescue 


The world of Atari Logo is a strange 
and wonderful place, filled with turtles, 
pens, windows, envelopes, lists, num- 
bers, words, toot, and, of course, de- 
mons. The Atari version of Logo was the 
first to include demons in its Logo 
word, giving you a new and very pow- 
erful control structure. | 

There are twenty-one WHEN de- 
mons in Atari Logo that spend all their 
time waiting for a specific event to 
occur. When the event occurs, they 
jump in and tell Logo to execute the list 
of instructions that accompany the 
event, then they pull back and wait for 
the next specific event to occur. 

WHEN demons function like a 
WHEN/THEN control structure (WHEN 
something happens, THEN do some- 
thing). They wait for an event to occur, 


and then perform the corresponding 


instruction. The Demon/Collision Chart 
lists all the WHEN demons available, 


and the events that each demon awaits. 


Collisions Between | 
Turtles and Pen Lines 


Once a WHEN demon is told to wait 
for an event it keeps waiting, without 
further instruction, until the event oc- 
curs. WHEN demons don’t have to 
exist inside a loop like IF/THEN struc- 
tures. Figure 1 is an example. 

Enter SETUP and the SETUP proce- 
dure selects Turtle 0, draws a line with 


30 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 


by Jason Gervich 


Pen 0, and positions the turtle. 


Now enter GO and the GO sets the > 


turtle’s speed to 25 and tells WHEN 
demon 0 to wait for a collision between 
Turtle 0 and a line drawn with Pen 0. 
When a collision is detected, WHEN 


demon 0 tells Logo to execute the in- 


struction list: 


J[SETSP 0 PR [TURTLE 0 HIT THE 
LINE] 


it then continues to wait for another 
collision. This example clearly shows 
the efficiency of using WHEN demons. 
If you had used an IF conditional, the 
program would have had to use a loop 








to continuously test for a collision. 
Enter Figure 2, and you'll see what I 


mean. 
Enter SETUP, then GO.LOOP and 


you'll see the difference between the 
two methods on your screen. The turtle 
moves slower and rougher with the 
GO.LOOP because of the recursive (a 
procedure that calls itself) loop and 
constant collision checking. 

In this slower method the primitive, 


COND, takes a collision # as its input. 


If the specified collision occurs at the 
exact time that COND is run, its output 
is “true.” Otherwise, its output is 
“false.” In GO.LOOP, the input to 





COND is 0. When GO.LOOP is run, 
COND checks to see if a collision has 
occurred between Turtle 0 and Pen 0. If 
no collision occurs at that instant, the 
output of COND is “false’.”” Because 
COND is used as part of an IF/THAN 
type control structure, it has to keep 
looping to check for a collision. 

You should use COND only when 
you're checking once for a collision. Use 
the WHEN demons when your pro- 
gram needs to check for the same colli- 
sion many times. 

You’ve got to observe two simple 
rules when using WHEN demons to 
detect collisions between pen lines and 
turtles: | 
1. The pen status must be up (PU) be- 
fore activating the WHEN demons. _- 
2. The pens and turtles should be 
selected before activating the WHEN de- 
mons. 


A Turtle/Pen Collision Utility 


Empty your workspace, save any 
procedures that you want to keep, and 
enter ERALL. 

__ If you are using the Workspace Man- 
agement Program (ATARI EXPLORER, 
February: 1985); usesthe EP option to 
erase non-WMP procedures. 

Figure 3 demonstrates all the possi- 
ble collisions between turtles and pens. 

The WATCH.COLLISION procedure 
uses the OVER primitive to decide which 
WHEN demon to activate. OVER takes — 
two inputs, a turtle number, and a pen 
number, and outputs the correspond- 
ing Collision/Demon number. 

Enter PR OVER 12 and you'll get a6. 
If you look up collision #6 on the Colli- 
sion Chart, you'll see that it tells 
WHEN demon #6 to wait for a collision 
between Turtle 1 and Pen 2. By using 
OVER in this way it’s possible to select 
the proper WHEN demon as the turtle 
and pen change. | 


Collisions Between 
Turtles and Turtles 


Save your COLLISION.UTL proce- 
dures, empty your workspace, then 
enter Figure 4 to see how WHEN de- 
mons check for turtle to turtle colli-: 
sions. | 

Enter LINE.UP and you'll see all the 
turtles lined up in a row. EACH [FD 30 
* WHO] positions the turtles 30 steps 
apart from each other. The WHO out- 

: CONTINUED 





APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER: ol 





puts each turtle’s number (0-3) multi- 
plied by 30. The white turtle in the 
center is number O, and the brown tur- 
tle above, is number 1. | 

Now enter GO, and watch what hap- 
pens when Turtle 0 and 1 collide. 
BANG!! When they hit each other the 
screen turns black, “BANG!!” is print- 
ed, and all the turtles go HOME. 

The ALERT.DEMONS procedure 
tells demon #19 to wait for a collision 
between Turtle 0 and 1, and to execute 
the BANG procedure when the two 
turtles hit. : 

Now we'll modify this program to 
position all the turtles in different di- 


rections, and send them HOME if any | 


of them collide with Turtle 0. 

First edit the LINE.UP procedure by 
changing the line that begins with 
“EACH” to read: : 


EACH [FD 30 * WHO] EACH 
[RT 135 * WHO] 


Now edit the GO procedure by re- 
placing TELL 0 RT 180 with: 


TELL 0 RT RANDOM 360 


Finally, edit the ALERT.DEMONS 
procedure by changing the line that be- 
gins with “WHEN” to read:. 


WHEN 19 [BANG] WHEN 20 [BANG] 
WHEN 16 [BANG] | 


Now enter LINE.UP then GO and 
watch the action! 


FORWARD 100! 


Now you know how to use WHEN 
demons to detect collisions between 
turtles and pen lines, and between tur- 
tles and other turtles. In the next issue 
we'll cover non-turtle collisions and ex- 
plore larger projects using WHEN de- 
mons. Until then, FORWARD 100! 

To get the most from LOGO NOTIONS 
you should have a working knowledge of 
Atari Logo. You'll find all you need to 
know, and more, in ATARI LOGO: Intro- 
duction to Programming Through Tur- 
tle Graphics (Atari Corp.). Familiarize 
yourself with this manual. You should un- 
derstand the basic concepts it presents in 
order to take full advantage of the articles 
in this series. You should also keep a copy 
of the ATARI LOGO Reference Guide 


(Atari Corp.) by your side. It provides a 


wealth of information you'll refer to often in 
your continuing exploration of Logo. =A 


- 32 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 





Mi 








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THE HAPPY HACKER== 


Hands-on Reviews ofa 
130XE Computer and DOS 2.5 


How do you make a hacker happy? 
‘Not just a little happy, mind you. 


What we’re looking for is some danc- 


ing-in-the-streets and shout-it-to-the- 
rooftops happy. 

There’s an easy answer: just come up 
with a new piece of equipment, no 
strings attached, and faded xeroxes of 
preliminary documentation. Those in- 
gredients are sure to yield many hours 
of interesting discoveries. This time 
was no exception. ee 

The 130XE arrived without any great 
fanfare. It was almost lost in the glare 
of, the. ST's. -announcement:; To. this 
hacker anyway, this product looks like 
the best news in a long time for current 
owners of Atari's personal computers. 
The launch of the 130XE means that the 
8-bit computer line is alive and well. It 
also provides a step up if you’ve been 
running out of elbow room with 64K or 
less. 

The 130XE used the same modern- 
ized styling as the 65XE, with 45-de- 
gree angles dominating the case. The 
only external difference between this 
and the 65XE (besides the label) is the 
Enhanced Cartridge Interface. This is a 
connector next to the cartridge port 
(which is located in back of the com- 
puter on the XE series). The ECI was 
designed to let users and third parties 
‘plug in high-speed peripherals like fast 
floppies, hard disks, and custom I/O 
devices. It is used in conjunction with 

the cartridge port. This gives access to 
the memory and I/O chip select lines, 5 
volts of power. External devices can de- 
tect the internal state of the 130XE sys- 
tem. 


34. ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 


by Neil Harris 


Internally, the 130XE includes 64K 


more RAM than the 65XE or 800XL. | 
The most obvious use of this memory 


is for word processing, spreadsheets, 
and other RAM-intensive software. In 
fact, the forthcoming AtariWriter Plus 
(we'll let you know when it’s available) 
is smart enough to detect the extra 
RAM and use it to increase the text 
memory. I don’t know exactly how 
much extra that will give you, since I 
didn’t get a copy of AtariWriter Plus yet, 
but you should be able to about triple 
the size of your text files. 

If you want to write your own BASIC 
programs so they use this extra RAM 
you have to know exactly what you're 


doing. It isn’t as if 64K were added to 


your free memory. The extra RAM is di- 
vided into four separate 16K chunks. 
By POKEing into memory location 
54017, you can cause the normal RAM 
from location 16364 to 32767 to be re- 
placed by one of the four chunks of 
extra RAM. ee 

The formula for selecting extra RAM 
is: : 
POKE 54017, 193 + 4* ADDRESS + 16 
* MODE : 


For ADDRESS substitute a digit from 
0 to 3, that picks which of the four 
chunks of memory you're using. For 
MODE pick a value from this chart: 


MODE 6502 ANTIC 
| Ok Extra Extra 
1 Extra Normal 
2 Normal Extra 
3 Normal Normal 


Who Gets the 
Extra Memory? 


Access to the extra memory can be 
provided to either the 6502 CPU chip, 
the Antic video processor, or to both 
processors. This makes the extra mem- 
ory extremely useful for software that 
needs lots of graphics. A program 
could switch the CPU's access over to 
the extra RAM and load a bunch of 
graphics data, or memory hogs like full- 
screen graphics images and giant 
scrolling mapboards. Once the pictures 
are in the extra RAM, the CPU switches 
over to the normal RAM where the pro- 
gram resides and the Antic chip oper- 
ates off the extra RAM. 


More Big News 


So far, the picture is of a pretty spiffy 
computer, especially as software de- 
velopers get their upgraded products 
out and really make the 130XE show its 
stuff. In fact, the Marketing Depart- 
ment at Atari is so excited about this . 
computer's possibilities that a major 
advertising push is expected. There 
will be lots of these babies before too 
long. 

But there’s even more. This relates 
especially well to the 130XE but is also 
really big news for all you disk drive 
users. That story centers on DOS 2.5. 

DOS 2.5 is the new standard that will 
ship with all Atari disk drives. As you © 
may know, DOS 3 was never widely ac- 
cepted because of problems with com- 
patibility, despite the fact that it pro- 
vides more space to use on the disk. 


The new DOS 2.5 solves this problem 
by providing dual density that is com- 
patible with the single density format 
now in widespread use. 

DOS 2.5 formats a dual density disk- 
-ette with 1010 sectors free instead of the 
707 that were available under DOS 2.0. 
A dual density diskette can be used on 
a 1050 drive, although the 810 can’t read 
them. When using a 1050 drive you can 
read disks of either format regardless 
of which version of DOS is loaded into 
your machine. The only limit is that 
DOS 2.0 won’t notice the extra sectors 
on the diskette—or any of the files that 
reside on those invisible sectors. 

The extra capacity of DOS 2.5 was 
achieved by squeezing 26 sectors onto 
each track instead of the 18 single den- 
sity format of DOS 2.0. The 1050 disk 
drive will automatically sense which 
density diskette is loaded. 


Atari plans to make DOS 2.5 avail- 


able to anyone who needs it. Please, 
don’t write me, I can’t send it to you 
myself. It will be distributed to user 
groups and posted on bulletin-board 
systems and on CompuServe. It is a 
great improvement which has man- 
aged the astounding feat of maintain- 
ing compatibility so your diskette li- 
brary doesn’t have to be changed over. 


Directory Options 


When using DOS 2.5, some of the 
disk commands in BASIC change sub- 
tly. For instance, there are now two op- 
tions for OPENing the disk directory. 
The normal method of OPENing the di- 
rectory from a BASIC program was: 


OPEN #1, 6, 0, “D:*.*” 


This command still works. However, 
you can now specify mode 7 as follows: 


OPEN #1,°7,/07 2D 


When reading the directory this way, 


some of the files’ names may end up 
with angle brackets around them, like 
<MYPROG BAS>. This means that 
this file occupies space on the disk that 
DOS 2.0 cannot access. When trying to 
read this disk with DOS 2.0, these files 
will be invisible. They won’t show up 
in the directory, nor will they be 
LOADable. 

There are new options for the XIO 
that allow you to format a diskette. XIO 
254 will format the diskette, first trying 
dual density to see if the drive supports 
it, then resorting to single density if 
necessary. i AN 


XIO 253 has been added to let you 


choose which density to use. When the 


mode number after the file number is a 
0, the drive will only use single density. 
Option P has been added to the DOS 
menu as well to perform this function. 

When the mode number is 34, the 
drive will insist on formatting in dual 
density. If an 810 drive is used, this re- 
sults in an error message. 

The XIO commands to format disk- 
etbes same 47): ; 7 


XIO 254, #1, 0, 0, “D1:”: REM DUAL 


IF POSSIBLE 


XIO 253, #1, 0, 0, “D1:”: REM SINGLE 
ONLY 

XIO 253, #1, 34, 0, “D1:”: REM DUAL 
ONLY 








Memory Map Compatibility 


When rewriting the DOS program to 
create this new version, care was taken 
to retain memory map compatibility 
wherever possible so that the trickier 
programs out there don’t get crossed 
up. To find out what locations stay the 


same, see Table 1. 


What do you get when 
you combine a 130XE 
with DOS 2.5? 


This is a case where the whole is 
really more than the sum of the parts. 
To cap off all the excitement of these 

CONTINUED 





ARRID 1985S: ATARI EXPLORER: 35 


new goodies, it turns out that DOS 2.5 
also includes a new program called 
RAMDISK.SYS. When this file is pres- 


ent on a DOS 2.5 disk that.is booted, it | 


checks to see if the computer is a 130XE. 
When this is the case something very 
interesting happens. 

A message appears on the screen. 
The computer informs you that it is set- 
ting up a RAMDISK. After a few sec- 
onds you return to normal operation. 

What has actually happened is that 
DOS has formatted the 64K of extra 
RAM as if it were an extra disk drive. 
The drive has 499 sectors as well as a 
normal directory, just like a disk drive. 
It has an abnormal drive number, D8, 
which ensures that you won’t have any 
conflicts with real drives. And it has a 
major advantage: it is fast! When you 
use a floppy disk you have to get data 
moving over cables and through ports, 
which is a slow process. On the other 
hand, when the “drive” is in memory, 
there are no moving parts, no I/O, just 
near-instant access to your files. 

The boot-up process that sets up 
your RAMDISK automatically copies 
DUP.SYS and MEM.SAV to the RAM- 
DISK, then cleverly modifies itself so 
that it looks there when you jump from 
BASIC to DOS and back. No more wait- 
ing for the DOS menu, that’s for sure. 


How fast is it? 
It’s so fast... 


It’s so fast that it makes you change 
your habits. What I mean is this: during 
the course of a work session with the 
130XE computer and DOS 2.5, I quickly 
learned to save everything to the RAM- 
DISK instead of the real drive. At the 
end of the session everything is copied 
(using the DOS menu) from the RAM- 
DISK to the real drive. Only the final 
version has to “crawl” bit by bit (liter- 
ally!) through an I/O port. 


To dramatize just how much ofa gain 
this really was, I rigged up a useful 
two-part test. The best test of a RAM- 
DISK is to perform some operation that 
is unusually disk intensive, constantly 
loading from the drive. 


I happened to have a use fora “slide 
‘show,’ in which a program loads in pic- 
tures one after another. The sight of a 
computer doing this with some good 
pictures makes an impressive display. 
_But where to find the pictures and 
some software? 


36 ATARI EXPLORER APRIL 1985 


SIG*Atari to the Rescue 


On CompuServe there is a very ac- 
tive area known as SIG*Atari. This area 
serves as a repository for all sorts of 
programs and information, including a 





whole library for music and sound pro- 
grams that can be downloaded to your 
computer via modem. 

Part one of the test consisted of a time 
competition between downloading all 
files directly to a disk drive as opposed 











to downloading first to the RAMDISK 
then copying to the drive. I ended up 
with 19 picture files and two slide show 
programs. 

The result: it took 34 minutes (with a 
1200-baud modem) to download direct 
to a disk drive; connect time charges for 
this would be about $4 and change. 
Using the RAMDISK it took only 19 of 
connect time and another 2 minutes to 


copy all files to a disk drive. The sav- — 


ings in connect charges are over 40%, 
and the overall time saving is 13 min- 
utes out of 34, or almost a third. Extend 
this to a longer work session and you 
really appreciate the speed. 

Part two of the test was the slide show 
itself. There’s no comparison here. | 
modified the two slide show programs 
to work with D8 instead of the normal 
drives. To run the modified program I 
had to: 


1. Go to the DOS menu 

2. Delete D8:MEM.SAV 

3. Copy all pictures to D8 

4. Go back to BASIC 

5. Run the slide show program 


The steps before running the pro- 
gram took about 2 minutes. Once the 
program started to run, though, it 
quickly outpaced the normal program 
speed. A new picture was loaded (in- 
cluding the time to de-compress the 
pictures to form a full screen bitmap) in 
as little as 3 seconds. 

It is possible to delete the DUP.SYS 
file from the RAMDISK if you need the 
extra space, but you must be certain to 
perform this command: 


POKE 5439, ASC(“1”) 


This tells DOS to look for the 
DUP.SYS program (the DOS menu) on 
drive 1 instead of the RAMDISK. 


The Verdict 


Overall, the 130XE is a surprising en- 
hancement to the Atari 8-bit computer 
product line. Especially when used 
with DOS 2.5, the 130XE can increase 
your ability to use your computer pro- 
ductively by saving time and by pro- 
viding a larger storage space. | 

In addition, it’s a good looking ma- 
chine. : 

For those of you with disk drives, 
make sure you check your local user 
group for a copy of DOS 2.5. It makes a 
big difference, regardless of the type of 
computer youre using. M 


City State Zip 
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APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 37 


38 ATARITEXPLORER 


Tre MANY WAYS OF AlRIRAYS 


oure a Little League coach with 
twenty-five kids on your team. 
You've just given out the uni- 
forms, and have a list of who 
has which uniform number. 
You've also recently purchased an Atari 
personal computer and disk drive (or 
tape recorder), and you want to use 
your Atari to maintain this list. You 
figure that this will make it easy to 
make changes if numbers change, if 
you add any new players, or if any of 
your players change teams. You've 
studied a little Atari BASIC but aren’t 
sure of the best way to proceed. 





Undaunted, you set out to write a 
program. You start by defining each of 
the players as a separate numeric vari- 
able, such as PLAYER1I, PLAYER2, 
PLAYER3. . . up to PLAYER25. You al- 
ready know that a numeric variable is 
just something that gets assigned a 
number value in your program. This 
value may or may not change in the 
program. The idea of thinking of a vari- 
able as a pigeonhole, a place to store 
things, is clear to you. You also know 
that in Atari BASIC, variable names can 
be as long as a program line, must 
begin with a capital letter, and can only 
use capital letters and numbers with no 
spaces. You've read that it is good prac- 
tice to use names that provide some in- 
formation about what they stand for. 
Thus, PLAYER1, is much better than P1 
or PL1. You also know that you're not 
the world’s greatest typist, so you want 
_to keep away from overly long variable 
names like LITTLELEAGUEPLAYERI. 


You want your program to ask you to 
tell it the players’ uniform numbers, 
and you want it to be able to list out all 
the players and their numbers on the 
screen. Scratching your head, you be- 


ein: 


APRIL 1985 


by Richard Kushner 


The first part of your program looks 


_ like Listing 1. 


It seems a little troublesome to have 
to use all that programming (and typ- 
ing!) to do what seems like a pretty sim- 
ple job. Oh well, you shrug your shoul- 
ders and continue onward. | 


The screen display part of the pro- 
gram looks like Listing 2. 


Now things are really troubling. 
Again you needed a separate program 








line for each player. What if the whole 
league of 250 players wanted you to do 
a similar list? There is a growing belief 
that there must be a better way! 
_ This example is perhaps a little sim- 
ple minded, but it does illustrate some 
important points regarding the use of 
variables in Atari BASIC programs. 
Giving each variable ina similar group 
different names is important to distinguish — 
them from each other. However, the ap- 
proach above makes for lots of typing 





and many lines of programming. If we 
wanted to find out who had uniform 
number 88 we would have to construct 
a similarly lengthy section of program- 
ming. As our Little League coach 
asked, isn’t there a better way? 


Arrays are the Answer 


Yes, there is a better way. Using an 
array is the answer. But first things first. 
The first question is “what is an array?” 
One way of describing an array is to say 
that it permits the programmer to des- 
ignate a collection of numeric variables 
with one variable name. Now, instead 
of designating the uniform numbers as 
PLAYER1, PLAYER2, PLAYER3 and so 
forth, you may use an array variable. 
PLAYER(X) may be used to refer to the 
uniform number of the Xth player. 
PLAYER(X) is read “PLAYER sub X.” 





The value in the parenthesis is called a 
subscript. Each data value in the array is 
called an element. By using an array we 
can do the uniform record keeping 
with a very simple piece of BASIC pro- 
gramming. The power of arrays is that 
they permit indirect addressing, which 
is a fancy way of saying that “X” in 
PLAYER(X) can be made to vary to fill 
in or find certain array elements at 
the program's discretion. The name 
“PLAYER” is attached to all array ele- 
ments, only the subscript is unique. 
This is in sharp contrast to using string 
variables where you cannot change just 
one part of the name to select different 
members of the group. This is shownin 
Listing 3 which accomplishes the same 
job as Listing 1 (and is much shorter). 
This is an example of a FOR/NEXT 
loop. We begin by carrying out an oper- 
ation known as dimensioning the array. 





(Dre 
ee ee een Gee ope 






This is done in line 10. The DIM state- 
ment sets aside space (pigeonholes) for 
an array to be named PLAYER. It is re- 
quired that you DIMension an array 
before you use it. Otherwise you'll get 
an “ERROR 9” message whenever you 
refer to the array in your program. 

Lines 20-60 constitute the loop used | 
to fill the array with the uniform num- 
bers. We could have gotten fancier and 
put in some statements to protect 
against bad input (such as inputting 
letters instead of numbers) ‘and we 
could have permitted the user to stop 
before all 25 values had been given. 
However, we wanted to keep this clean. 
and neat in order to concentrate on the 
array aspects of the program. You can 
create an equally simple piece of pro- 
gramming to print out the uniform 
numbers, just as the cumbersome pro- 
gramming in Listing 2 did. We’ll leave 
that to you to work out. Also, simply 
by changing the values in lines 10 and 
20, you can expand to as large an array 
as your computer can handle. 

Before we go any further, let’s state 
some rules that must be followed when 
using numeric arrays. Keeping these in 
mind will prevent all manner of diffi- 
culty i in your programs. 

Rule 1: All arrays must be DIMen- 
sioned before they can be used, no mat- 
ter how many elements the array will 
contain. Note also that DIM PLAY- 
ER(25) actually reserves space for 26 ar- 
ray elements, since the computer pre- 
fers to start counting at 0 rather than at 
1. You are free to use or ignore the ze- 
roth member of an array. 

Rule 2: Be sure that your program 
never goes back to the statement that 
DIMensioned your array. If this should 
happen, you will also get an “ERROR 


CONTINUED 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 39 


FRANK ANSLEY 






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9” warning, and the program will halt. 
To satisfy Rules 1 and 2 it is advisable to 
put your DIM statements right near 
the beginning of your program, and 
never loop back to these statements. 
Rule 3: You cannot READ or INPUT 
numeric variables directly into an array. 
This means that the following state- 
ment is not permitted: 
40 INPUT PLAYER (20) 
Instead, you must take an indirect 
approach, such as that used in Listing 


40 INPUT PLAYER 
50 PLAYER(20) = PLAYER 


40 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 









We have used PLAYER as a tempo- 
rary variable to help us INPUT data into 
our array. The same holds for trying to 
READ data. 


Rule 4: Never assume that the ele- 
ments of an array that you have created 
are initialized by the computer to be 0 
when you DIMension the array. This is 
a fairly small point, but one that can get 
you into trouble. The space set aside for 
your array may contain some “garbage” 
numbers; that is, numbers other than 
zero. If itis important in your program 
that your array contain all zeros (or any 


particular value), then put the value 


you want there, before you use the 
array with a loop like this. 


100 FOR J=1 TO 25 
110 PLAYER(J) =0 
120 NEXT J 

In Listing 3 we didn’t need to do this 
since we were going to input 25 values 
of numbers anyway. 


I trust that you are beginning to see 
the value and power of using arrays 
when you have a collection of similar 
variables. Not only do arrays make pro- 
grams shorter and easier to write, they 
permit you to manipulate numbers 
much more readily than if they all had 
separate names. For example, you 
might want to have a list of uniform 
numbers in numeric order, rather than 
player numbers in numeric order, that 
is, a list that might look like this: 


UNIFORM #1 PLAYER 22 
UNIFORM #2 PLAYER 3 
UNIFORM #3 PLAYER 11 


You would need to go through the 


list of players and find which player 


has Uniform #1, Uniform #2, etc. With 
arrays, this is a relatively easy thing to 
do. Without them, it is another long 
programming task. We'll leave it to you 


to try out both approaches. 

So far we have used arrays as sort 
of one-dimensional lists. What if we 
wanted to include the age and tele- 
phone number as well as the uniform 


- number of each Little Leaguer? We 


could, of course, have three separate 
arrays to handle this. However, once 
again, Atari BASIC comes to our rescue 
with the two-dimensional array. 


The Two-Dimensional Array 


The best way to explain a two-di- 
mensional array is to first see one, as in 
TABLE 1. : 

We have gone from a one-dimen- 
sional list to a two-dimensional table. 


‘The “rules” we listed earlier, however, 


also apply to two-dimensional arrays. 
We must DIMension the array with a 
statement like: 

10 DIM PLAYER(25,3) 

or 

10 DIM PLAYER(3,25) 

Either way is correct, it is just a mat- 
ter of how you prefer to visualize the 
array. In the first case, the array can 
best be thought of as a row across rep- 
resenting the 25 players, with three 
pieces of information about each player 
listed underneath each player. In the 
second case, we have a column repre- 
senting the 25 players, with three paral- 
lel columns containing the data of in- 
terest. The Table above fits this second 
description. Thus PLAYER(3,4) in our 
example is the third piece of informa- 
tion (the phone number) of PLAYER(4), 
which is 5556789. Keep in mind that 
either layout can be used, but it will af- 
fect which elements store which infor- 
mation. | 

A word of caution. The mathematics of 
two-dimensional arrays get somewhat 








abstract when you start manipulating ~ 


items contained in the array. If your 

program involved sorting the array, it 

might use a complex statement like: 

100 IF PLAYER(K + 1,J +1) 

> PLAYER(K,J) THEN 

PLAYER(K,J) = PLAYER(K + 1,J + 1) 
You will be all right as long as you 

keep in mind the rectangular format of 


the array, and which subscript refers to 
the rows, and which refers to the col- 
umns. It is always good practice to first 
run your program with known data to 
be sure that the right numbers come 
out when known numbers go in. Ar- 
rays gone awry are a good example of 
the computer axiom “GIGO”—Gar- 
bage In Garbage Out! 








































Let’s further reinforce our growing » 
knowledge of arrays with another ex- 
ample. As a present, we received a 


weather station and have been record- 


ing the temperature at 6:00AM, Noon, 
and 6:00PM each day for one week. We 
want to write a program to accept all 
this information, and then print it out 
in an orderly table; including the aver- 
age temperature for each day. We know 
that the average temperature is just the 
sum of the three daily temperatures di- 
vided by 3. 

We have seven days worth of data 
and three measurements each day— 
clearly a perfect candidate for a (7,3) 
array. Listing 4 shows one way to write 
a program to accomplish our goals. 


Lines 1000-1030 contain the tempera- 
ture readings which are READ into the 
array using lines 100-140. We then 
print out the information in a table, 
using lines 205-250 to also calculate the 
average daily temperature. Note also 
the use of a REM statement in line 90 to 
identify our program. Months from 
now, this will help us remember what 
the program does. Observe the use of 
descriptive variable names (DAY, 
READING, TOTAL, TEMP) to aid in 
following the program’s logic. Little 
things like this mean a lot in program 
development and readability. 


We could have easily expanded our 
array to include a temperature reading 
each hour, or included wind speed and 
relative humidity readings. Only our 
imagination (and our weather station) 
limits us! Figure 1 shows the results of 
running this program. We have been. 
able to input the desired information 
into an array, and output it in a concise 
form, including a calculation of the av- 
erage temperature. 

CONTINUED ON 45 


APRIL 1985 ATARIEXPLORER 41 











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COMPUTE! 
Choe ee Cy 


Assembly Language Programming: 
Getting Down to Brass ‘Tacks 


by David Duberman 


Looking into Your 
Computer's Brain 


This classroom really gets down to 
brass (or silicon) tacks and looks into 
your computers “brain,” the Central 
Processing Unit (CPU) that does most 
of the work. Your Atari computer's 


CPU belongs to the 6502 family, a 


popular microchip used in many home 
computers. This amazing device, about 
the size of a fingernail, operates at the 
blinding speed of 1.79 million opera- 
tions per second! Since it usually takes 
several operations, or “cycles,” to exe- 


cute an instruction, that translates to at 


least several hundred thousand in- 
structions per second—still quite fast. 
This speed, added to the power of the 


42 ATARI EXPLORER APRIL 1985 


complementary and special large-scale 
integrated (LSI) graphic chips (ANTIC 
and GTIA) allows your Atari computer 
to display graphics close to those seen 
on game machines at your local arcade. 
But professional arcade games aren't 
programmed in BASIC; it’s much too 
slow. They’re programmed in assembly 
language, so that each instruction you 
write is executed directly by the CPU at 
top speed without any intervening in- 
terpretation by a higher-level lan- 
guage. Chris Crawford, the designer of 
such great Atari strategy games as East- 
ern Front™ and Excalibur™, uses the 
power of assembly language to create 


extraordinarily complex and intricate © 


programs that appear to use artificial 
intelligence. His games could have 
been written in BASIC, to a large ex- 
tent, but only in machine language do 








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Ce 
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they operate fast enough to work in 
real time. 

You may already know that the 
BASIC language itself is a program 
written in assembly language. When 
you type in a command like PLOT or 
GRAPHICS, BASIC “interprets” it by 
reading each character and deciding 
what steps it must take to produce the 
desired result. BASIC programs exe- 
cute slower than assembly language 
because each line must be re-inter- 
preted each time it is executed in the 
program. Some versions of BASIC (on 
big computers) are compiled, which 
means that they are actually translated 
into a machine language program be- — 
fore they begin executing. An assembly 
language program is also completely 
translated (or “assembled”) into ma- 
chine language before it executes. 


Pay Attention to Detail — 


If you’ve done much programming 
in a higher-level language like BASIC, 
you know that it’s a detail-intensive ac- 
tivity. Make just one small mistake, and 
the program doesn’t run and you get 
an error message. It’s a fact of life that 
assembly-language programming is 
several orders of magnitude more de- 
tail-oriented than BASIC program- 
ming. With assembly language there is 
no higher-level language taking care of 
small details such as reserving memory 
for variables, creating the correct dis- 
play list, or printing a question mark at 
a prompt for user input—it’s all up to 
you, Leave out a crucial instruction and 
you won't get an error message—your 
computer will most likely lock up, and 
you must power down and restart to 
regain control. This attention to detail 
is balanced by the amount of control 
and speed of execution offered by as- 
sembly-language programming. You'll 
learn many assembly-language house- 
keeping shortcuts later in this series 
that will make your programming 
chores enjoyable and manageable. 


The Assembler-Editor 


To write a program in assembly lan- 
guage, you first type it into your com- 
puter using an editor such as the one in 
the Atari Assembler-Editor™ cartridge. 
You then save your program on a disk 
or cassette. However, you can’t just 
RUN the program, as in BASIC. It must 
first be processed by a program called 
an assembler. The assembler converts 


each assembly-language instruction to _ 


its equivalent in machine language and 
consecutively places the instructions in 
memory. By the way, the assembler and 
the editor aren’t necessarily combined; 
in fact, some programmers enter their 


programs witha word processor for the 
advanced editing capabilities, then 


process the disk file with a stand-alone 
assembler such as the Atari Macro 
Assembler. 

After the assembly process, you exe- 


cute the program by “telling” the as- 


sembler (or a companion program 
called a debugger or monitor) where in 
memory to find the initial instruction. 


The CPU and its Registers 


The Program Counter 


Here’s where the computer's brain 
steps in. The CPU contains several 











memory locations called registers that © 


it uses for its own purposes. When you 
execute a machine language program, 
one register—the program counter—re- 
ceives the beginning address of the 
program. From then on, the program 
counter is responsible for keeping track 
of which memory location contains the 
next instruction. The program counter 
is a sixteen-bit register which can hold 
a number from 0 to 65;535, also known 
as 64K. That is what limits a 6502-based 
computer to 64K of memory space. 


The Accumulator 


The principal eight-bit register is 
called the Accumulator or A register be- 
cause it accumulates the results of 
arithmetic and logical operations. Most 
assembly-language operations use the 
accumulator. 


X and Y Registers 
Other registers are the X and Y regis- 
ters. These registers are often used as 


_ index (or offset) registers to point to a 


sequenced array of data for accessing, 
or as counters for a loop. 


The Stack Bode 


Another register called the stack — 


pointer or SP is used to point to a 256- 





byte region in memory called the stack. 
The stack gives the computer one of its 
most powerful features—the ability to 
execute and rapidly return from sub- 
routines, and to pass data back and 
forth between subroutines and the 
main program. A comparison is often 
made between the stack and a push- 
down dish stacking device in a 
cafeteria. 

Both are last-in-first-out devices, be- 
cause the last dish, or number, that you 
place on either type of stack is the first 
one you retrieve. If you’ve used Atari 
BASIC’s POP command, you know ~ 
how important it is to remove the re- 
turn address for a subroutine or FOR- 
NEXT loop from the stack if it doesn’t. 
exit normally from the routine. Assem- 
bly language has an almost identical 
command, plus a PUSH command for 
placing a number on top of the stack. 
Unlike the cafeteria version, the Atari 
computer's stack doesn’t move physi- 
cally. Rather, each new entry is placed 
“under” the previous one in memory, 
and the stack pointer (SP) is changed 
by one to point to the new top of the 
stack. 


The Processor Status Register 


Finally, the processor status, or P regis- 
ter tells us the results of decision-mak- 
ing instructions. Bits in this register in- 
dicate which conditions exist, such asa 
negative or positive number, a zero, or 
an interrupt. 


Fundamental Assembly 
Language Programming 


The 6502 processor understands 
about 50 opcodes (short for “operation 
codes”) that are referred to by three-let- 
ter names called mnemonics. Mnemonic 
means memory aid, and these three-let- 
ter names are abbreviations for the op- 
code’s function. For example; CMP 
means to CoMPare, and INX means to | 
INcrement the X register. 


The LDA Opcode 


The first opcode we'll explore is one of 
the most commonly used—LDA; the 
abbreviated name for LoaD Accumu- 
lator. Because all arithmetic and logical 
Operations, such as the CoMPare op- 
code, are based on a number that’s 
been loaded into the accumulator, the 
LDA opcode gets a lot of use. 

| 3 CONTINUED 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 43 


Addressing Modes 


If you want to load a number into the 
accumulator or A register, it’s got to 
come from someplace. This brings up 
a very important assembly-language 
concept known as addressing modes. 
Here’s an example of a typical assem- 
bly-language program instruction. 


LDA #3 


LDA is the opcode, and the expression 
#3 is its object, or operand. The com- 
bined opcode and operand is called an in- 
struction. 


The symbol in front of the operand 


tells the assembler what addressing mode 
to operate in. 


The Immediate Mode 


Although there are eight possible ad- 
dresing modes, we'll only be covering 
three in this segment—the immediate, 
absolute, and zero page addressing 
modes. 

In the example LDA #3, the “#” 
symbol is used to tell the microproces- 
sor to operate in the immediate mode. 
Operating in the immediate mode in this 
example means that the LDA opcode 
will take data from the byte that im- 
mediately follows it in the program— 
and in memory. In this case the accumu- 
lator will be loaded with the number 3. 
Since the accumulator is eight bits in 
length, the number that’s loaded in 
must always be in the range of 0 to 255. 


The Absolute Mode 


When you use the LDA opcode in 
the immediate mode data is retrieved 
from the byte that immediately follows 
the instruction. But when you use the 
LDA opcode in the absolute mode data 
can be retrieved from any RAM or 
ROM memory location. (If you are 
using the LDA opcode to retrieve data 
from a RAM location it must have been 
placed there earlier, during loading or 
execution of the program.) 

Some examples of data that you 
might want to load into the accumulator 
might include the bytes that define a 
bit-mapped graphics screen image, or 
the domestic character set, stored in 
decimal locations 57344-58386. (Refer 
to Computer Classroom, in the Febru- 
ary 1985 issue of ATARI EXPLORER.) 

If you know a data byte’s memory ad- 
dress you can copy, or load, the con- 
tents of that memory address directly 
into the accumulator by using the abso- 


44 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 





Keane sc 
let 
a er ely 


lute mode. (The absolute mode is some- 
times referred to as the direct mode.) 
Here’s how you would load the con- 
tents of memory address 57344 (hexa- 
decimal $E000) into the accumulator: 


LDA $E000 


The dollar sign ($) at the beginning of 
the operand selects the absolute mode of 
operation. The complete instruction, 
LDA $E000, means to take whatever 
value is contained in memory location 
$E000 (hexadecimal) and place it in the 
accumulator. With this mode, you can 
get a byte from anywhere in memory 
by just specifying its address. This 
works like Atari BASIC’s PEEK func- 
tion. 


Kissin’ Cousins 


Cousins to the LDA opcode are LDX | 


and LDY, which load the X and Y regis- 
ters. Each of these can be used in either 
the immediate or absolute modes, and 
several others as well. We’ll be cover- 
ing the other addressing modes as this 
series continues. 


The STA Instruction 


‘You're now probably asking, what do 


I do with the number once I've got it in 
the accumulator register? One obvious 
course is to place it somewhere in 
memory, which is where the opcodes 


STA, STX, and STY (STore Ac- 
cumulator; X-register; Y-register in’ 
memory) come into play: 

STA $2000 


means to take the number that’s cur- 
rently in the accumulator and store it in 
memory location 2000 (hexadecimal). 
STA functions just like BASIC’s POKE 
command, in that a value is placed into 
a memory location. In fact, BASIC ac- 
complishes POKE with little more than 
a LDA followed by an STA. 


The Block Move 


The 6502 CPU isn’t able to move data 
directly from one memory location to 
another. Any time data is relocated, it 
must pass through one of the three reg- 
isters; A, X, or Y. A routine often used 
in assembly-language programming is 
the block move, where a block of data 
is transferred between different sec- 
tions of memory. The block move is 
usually accomplished by using a single 
LDA instruction followed by a single 
STA, plus a couple of increment instruc- 
tions (similar to FOR and NEXT in 
BASIC), repeated in a loop. 

Since a STore instruction, like the one 
above, uses a number already loaded 
into a register, there is no. immediate 
mode form of this instruction. STA has 
eight addressing modes, of which the 
most often used is the absolute mode. A 
special case of this mode is used to ac- 
cess data stored in the first page, or 
zero page, of memory. 


The Zero Page Addressing Mode 


For programming purposes, itis con- 
venient to regard the Atari computer's 
memory as organized into 256 pages or 
blocks of 256 bytes each. The high byte 
(the left two hex digits) of an address 
refer to the page, and the low byte 
(rightmost two digits) refer to the loca- 
tion within the block. For example, the 
two-byte address $4000 calls out the 
first byte of Page 40 hex, and two-byte 
address $0104 is the fifth byte of Page 1 
hex. You must use two bytes to refer to 
all memory locations in the Atari com- 
puter, with the exception of the first 256 
memory locations. The first 256 mem- 
ory locations are called page Zero be- 
cause the high byte is zero. (Remem- 


ber, computers start counting at zero, © 


not at one.) 

If your program accesses a location 
anywhere in the first 256 bytes of mem- 
ory, like STA $0052, the assembler au- 
tomatically uses a form of the absolute 
Mode called zero Page. In this case the 
accessed address doesn’t contain a high 
byte, so you can save a byte in your 
program by using this mode to tell the 
CPU that the address is only one byte 
long, not two. Of course, the LoaD in- 
structions have a zero page formas well. 

The zero page mode is the default ad- 
dressing mode for instructions that 
have one-byte operands. If you try to 
use the immediate mode and forget to 
type the # sign, the assembler will in- 
terpret the instruction as zero page mode, 
with unexpected results. 

You might ask, what good does sav- 
ing one byte do? Actually, it helps quite 
a bit. Every little detail must be taken 
care of by the programmer, and pro- 
grams in assembly language tend to be 
a good deal longer than programs that 
perform similar functions in higher- 
level languages. When writing for com- 
puters with limited RAM (sometimes 
even 256K isn’t enough these days!), 
it’s essential to save every possible 
byte. Conserving a byte or two wher- 
ever possible can also amount to sig- 
nificant improvements in execution 
speed, especially of commonly-used 
routines and loops. It’s not uncommon 
for loops in assembly-language pro- 
grams to repeat many thousands of 
times. For this reason the Atari Operat- 
ing System reserves many zero page lo- 


ARRAYS... 


CONTINUED FROM 41 

This ends our brief exploration of nu- 
meric arrays. You may have noticed 
that we have avoided including the 
names of the players in our Little 
League example, or the names of the 
days of the week in our temperature ex- 
ample. This is because Atari BASIC 
treats information that uses the letters 


of the alphabet (known as “strings”) | 


quite differently than plain, vanilla 
numbers. Atari BASIC does not have 
the ability to work with arrays of 
strings. We can use other properties of 


cations for its own use in time-critical 
I/O routines and the assembler uses 
still more, leaving precious few for the 
assembly-language programmer. 


Coming Attractions 


Now that we've laid the ground- 
work, we'll actually start programming 
in assembly language in the next in- 
stallment. , 


Be Prepared! 


Software 


If you don’t have an assembler, the 
Atari Assembler/Editor (Atari Corp., car- 
tridge) is an excellent beginner’s tool. If 
you think you'll be getting serious 
about assembly language program- 
ming, the MAC/65 (Optimized Systems 
Software, cartridge), though more ex- 
pensive, is an advanced Editor/Assem- 
bler that you can grow with. The pro- 
grams featured in Computer Class- 
room will be compatible with both as- 
semblers. 


Atari BASIC to simulate string arrays, 
but rather than go into that here, we’ll 
close this discussion with a summary 
of what we have learned so far about 
numeric arrays. 


Summing Up Numeric 
Arrays 


- Anarray enables us to manage a num- 
ber of variables by using one variable 
name. i 

- Arrays may be one- or two-dimen- 
sional, and are created with state- 
ments of the form DIM ARRAY (X) for 
one-dimensional arrays or DIM AR- 
RAY(X,Y) for two-dimensional ar- 
rays. 

- The array size is one larger than the 





Recommended Reading — 


One essential Operating System 
sourcebook is Mapping the Atari by Ian 
Chadwick (COMPUTE! books). Al- 
though this book was written before 
the introduction of the Atari 12000XL™, 
600XL™, and 800XL™ computers, most 
of its well organized and clearly pre- 
sented material still applies. It’s also a 
good idea to obtain a good reference 
guide such as 6502 Assembly Language 
Programming by Lance Leventhal (Os- 
borne/McGraw-Hill). Later on, you 
may also need the Atari Technical Refer- 
ence Manual (Atari Corp.). 

This is the third installment of Com- 
puter Classroom’s Introductory Semi- 
nar on Advanced Programming and As- 
sembly Language. In Part One (ATARI 
CONNECTION, Summer 1984), we dis- 
cussed the two number systems used 1n as- 
sembly-language programming; binary and 
hexadecimal. Part Two (ATARI EXPLOR- 
ER, February 1985) introduced the Atari 
computer's memory map—the organization 
of memory into various use-related areas. M 


number used because the computer 
starts counting at zero. 

- Array elements can be used in BASIC 
statements wherever a simple nu- 
meric variable can be used. 

- With arrays we will often find it con- 
venient to use FOR/NEXT loops to 
process all elements or a block of these 
elements. 

Now go to it! You will undoubtedly 
find many uses for arrays in your own 
programming. Keep the rules in mind, 
and the power and utility of arrays will 
be yours to command. 


This article is based on the book Basic Atari 
BASIC by James S. Coan and Richard 
Kushner (Hayden Book Company, Has- 
brouck Heights, NJ) available at bookstores 
and computer stores nation-wide. 


APRIL 1985 ATARIEXPLORER 45 


BITS & PIECES 


> A Mixed Bag of Tricks 


tep right up! Enter this Bits & Pieces column and witness 
tricks of the programming trade beyond belief! You'll be 
mystified as your Disk Operating System 1s miraculously 
transformed into a stupendous word processor. Then, 
watch in amazement as we show you some fancy string 
magic that helps sort out your programming chores. And, that’s not 
all! Program lines will be deleted, and magically restored, right 
before your very eyes! Then, if you're an assembly language pro- 
grammer, you'll be delighted by a short program that miraculously 
converts complex machine.code to data statements in the blink of an 
eye. Later, those of you who like to delve into higher mathematics 
will be astounded by a program beyond belief! Yes, right here in this 
exciting column you'll watch as complex array equations, with up 








to twenty-six unknowns, are solved in seconds! Our show's grand | 
finale is a kaleidoscope of brilliant color. So, wait no more, step right 


up, buy a ticket, and let the show begin! 


> You Already Have a Word 
Processor! 


Yes, that’s right! If you have a disk drive that includes 
DOS, you now own an easy-to-use word processor that will 
come in handy when someone borrows your AtariWriter car- 
tridge. 


46 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 











by David Heller 


A DOS 2.0 or 2.5 Word Processor 


Using DOS 2.0 or 2.5 as a word processor is as easy as 
saying “abra-cadabra.” 
PP Firee) select the Or i tuncton +BY pressing C and RE- 
TURN. 


2. Next, type E:,Device:Filename. Here’s an example: 
E:,D1:WORDS.TXT 

Your disk drive will whirl for a moment as the file name is 
recorded on your disk. . 

3. When your disk drive calms down, start writing that great 
novel or letter. You can edit your text with any of the editing 
keys. Editing can only be done on each line before you press 
RETURN. 

4. When you've finished writing, press ae CTRL and 3 keys 
and your prose is saved on your disk file. 

Use the DOS’s COPY function to review your text on the 
screen, or to print it on your printer. Here’s how to do this 
using the above example: 

Review text on screen: 

To review your text on the screen press C to enter the DOS’s 
COPY function, then type D1:;WORDS.TXT;S: 

Press the CTRL and 1 keys to Stop your prose as it scrolls 
down your screen—Press them again to continue scrolling. 
Text to printer: 

To print out your text, enter the COPY function, then type 


~D1:WORDS.TXT,P: 


A DOS 3.0 Word Processor 


To use DOS 3.0 as a word processor just follow these step- 
by-step instructions. 


Press C to load the COPY utility. 

Answer NO to the question “APPEND (Y/N)?” 

Enter E: when you are asked for the “Source device?” 
Enter D1: in response to “Destination device?” This will 
set up a file on disk drive #1. If you'd like to use another disk 
drive, change the “1” to the disk drive of your choice. 

5. Enter a file name of your choice when you are asked for 
the “Destination filename?” This is the name of the text file 
you'll be saving your prose to. 

6. Once you've made all these entries press RETURN when 
your screen tells you to “Insert destination disk and press 
RETURN.” 


eee 


7. Your screen will clear, and the cursor will wait for you at. 


the upper left hand corner of the screen. Now, you're ready 
to start writing! 


Use the keyboard's editing keys to edit your text. Editing 


can only be done before you press RETURN at the end of a 
line or paragraph. 

8. When you've finished writing, press the CTRL and 3 keys 
and your writing is saved on the file you've created on your 
disk. 

9. Use the COPY utility to review your writing on the 
screen, or to print it on your printer. 


Helpful Hints 


Because your DOS word processor does not wrap words 
around at the end of each line, centering and lining-up text 
in columns is easy. What you see on your screen is what is 
printed out! With a little practice you'll be able to create some 
pretty fancy documents. 

If you'd like to do some additional editing, just load your 
text file into AtariWriter. This lets you move paragraphs, 
change words, and do all the fancy things. But your built-in 
word processor is just right for notes on the fly! 





tions. Mucho spicy—no? 





> The Santiago Deleter 


Pablo Larrain who lives in Santiago, Chile, South 
America, has devised a spicy way to delete unwanted pro- 
gram lines, and as a bonus, his program also allows you to 
save those deleted lines on a disk file if you ever need em 
again. 

Another super-feature of Pablo’s program is that it can de- 
lete itself after you've finished with it! 

If vou’ve got a disk drive, anda few minutes to type in this 


30000 REM HE DELETER ‘te 

30018 PRINT CHRSC125):PRIMNT “FIRSTLINE 
_ ,LASTLINE TO DELETE"; 

30626 INPUT FL,LL 

30036 PRINT “INCREMENT; 

306040 INPUT I 

30050 LIST "D:SAVER",FL,LL: OPEN #1,8,8 

»"O:DEL" 

30060 FOR X=-FL TO LL STEP I 

30076 PRINT &1;X:REM RECORDS THE LINE 


NUMBERS TO BE Py EEKES 
30086 WEXT X 

30690 CLOSE ti 

30100 ENTER "D:DEL" 


Using The Santiago Deleter 


_ After you type in the Santiago Deleter, LIST it to a disk file 
like this: 
LIST “D:DELETER” [RETURN] 

When you want to use Pablo’s program just ENTER it into 
the program you want to edit like this: 
ENTER “D:DELETER” [RETURN] 

Type GOTO 30000 and you'll be asked for the first and last 
line numbers you want to delete. Enter your choices, sepa- 
rated by a comma. Then you'll be asked for the spacing be- 
tween lines. If your program lines are incremented by 10’s, 
for example, just enter the number 10 and press RE- 
TURN.That’s all there is to it! The program LISTs all the pro- 
gram lines it’s going to delete to a new file named “SAVER” 
for future reference, opens a file named “DEL” that stores 
the line numbers you want to delete, then reenters the 
“DEL” file into your program to make the actual line dele- 
“CONTINUED 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 47 





> Attention Assembly Language 
Programmers! 


David D. Bowman of Twin Falls, Idaho has been writing 
lots of programs in BASIC that use the USR statement to call 
in a machine language routine. He writes his machine lan- 
guage code with his Atari Assembler Editor, then uses a pro- 
gram he’s developed called “OBJDATA’ to convert this code 
to a series of numbered DATA statements for inclusion in his 
BASIC program. 

David’s program is the shortest, and easiest one of its type 
we've seen yet. And it’s real easy to use! 

It asks you for the “OBJECT CODE FILENAME,” then for 
the “DATA STATEMENT FILENAME” you’ve chosen to 
store the DATA statements to. After you supply this infor- 
mation, you'll be asked if you want to watch the DATA state- 


ments being formed on your screen (E:), or printed on your | 


printer (P:) as they are LISTed on your disk file. 

After you’ve supplied this information, David’s program 
takes over, and makes a file full of DATA statements that you 
can ENTER into your BASIC program. 3 

David told us that he developed OBJDATA after he “got 
tired of converting all that hexadecimal assembly language 
code to DATA by hand.” David's program has saved him lots 
of time, and is guaranteed to cut down on your work load 
too. 


48 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 





1060 DIM A$(99) , BS (99) ,C5(99) ,0$(993,U 
I$ (16) 
1610 7? “WHAT IS THE OBJECT CODE FILEWA 


ME CINCLHDE B:)": INPUT A$ 
1628 7 “WHAT I5 DATA STATEMENT FILENAM 
E — CINCLUDE B:)": INPUT BS 


1630 ? " SEND MIRROR IMAGE TO E: OR P: 

“SINPUT VIS 

164@ OPEN #2,4,0,A9:REM OBJECT CODE FI 

LE 

1658 OPEN #3,8,0,B5:REH DATA STATEMENT 
FILE 

1660 OPEN %4,8,6,VIS:REM MIRROR DATA T 

0 SCREEN OR PRINTER 

1078 TRAP 1176:CS="% REM LOCATION & LE 
NGTH BYTES “:REM GET LOCATION & LENGTH 
BYTE | 

1080 FOR W=1 TO 6:GET 82,0:0$=STRS(O): 
CS (LEN (C$) 41)=bS :DS=",": CS (LEN(CS) +1)= 
DS:MEXT Wi? &3;CS:7 W4;CS: MEL 

1090 WoN+1:CS=STRS (HD :DS=" DATA ":CSCL 
EN(CS)41)=DS:REM GET UP TO 26 LIWES OF 
DATA STATEMENTS 

1166 FOR Z=1 TO 1@8:REM GET 16 BYTES OF 
DATA PER LIWE | 

1110 GET %2,Q:REM GET A BYTE OF OBJECT 
CODE 

1138 DS=STRS (CQ) :CSCLENCCS)+19=DS:REM A 
DD LAST BYTE GOTTEN TO DATA STATEMENT 
1140 IF Z=10 THEN ? #3;C$:? #4;C$:GOTO 
1690:REM STORE DATA STATEMENT & START 
NEXT OWE 

1158 BS=",":CSCLENC(CS)41)-=DS: REM SEPAR 
ATE DATA BYTE MITH COMMA 

1160 MEXT Z 

1170 2 #3;C$:7 84;CS:REM STORE LAST DA 

Ta STATEMENT 

118@ ? :? "THAT IS THE END OF THE OBJE 

CT CODE --- NOW ENTER DATA STATEMENT F 

ILE AND SEE IF IT WORKS" 

119@ CLOSE M2: CLOSE RS:CLOSE 4 

1208 END 


> Higher Math 


Joshua Herman, a sophomore at Rutgers University, 
School of Engineering, sent us a program that solves “linear 
equations containing N equations with N unknowns,” by 
using a method known as Gauss-Jordan Elimination. He claims 
that his program will help engineers and physicists who are 
working in the field of physic mechanics. We tried it, and it 
does indeed do the job, although the accuracy of the answers 
is only within .01%. 


Here’s an example of the type of problem that Joshua’s — 


program solves: 
2A BiG 7 
A +2B+C=8 
B+C=5 
The answer here is A=1, B=2, and C=3. But, when you 
enter this problem into Joshua’s program you'll get an an- 
swer that has not been rounded off. 


Using The Gauss-Jordan Program 


After you run Joshua’s Gauss-Jordan program you'll be 
asked “How many unknowns?” In the above example you 
would enter 3 (the three unknowns are A, B, and C). 

Next, you'll be asked to enter numbers into the elements 
of array A(X,X). Working from left to right, enter each of the 
coefficients, and the constant that follows the equal sign. 

In the above example you'd enter, 

2 [RETURN] | 

1 [RETURN] 

1 [RETURN] 

7 [RETURN] 

for the information on the first row of the equation. The last 
row would be entered like this: 

0 [RETURN] 

1 [RETURN] 

~1 [RETURN] 

5 [RETURN] 

The computer goes to work after you’ve entered the prob- 
lem, and when it’s finished calculating, displays the answer 
on the screen. 

Since the answer is displayed using the letters of the al- 
phabet, from A to Z, use these letters, from left to right, 
when you write down your problem. For example, one line 
of a longer equation might look like this: 
2A BR + 3€ De = 7B 20) 


One word of caution: When “0” is one element of your equa- . 


tion, you might be asked by the program to “SWITCH 
ROWS.” This means that you'll have to reenter the problem 
in a different row order. 


1 REM %% GAUISS-JORDAN ELININATIONH 

2 REM 4% INPUT W (THE SIZE OF THE SQuA 
RE PART OF THE MATRIX) ## 

3 REM ¥* INPUT COEFFICIENTS (BY HORIZON 
TAL ROMS) #4 

4 REM #* BY JOSH HERMAN © 9/30/84%% 

5 REM #* TO SOLVE NW EQ'S FOR N LINKNOWN 
5, 3 | 

6 REM ¥* INPUT ONLY COEFFICIENTS AND 
CONSTANTS INTO MATRIX, CINCLUDING ZERO 
§) 7 

7 REM ¥* YOU MAY HAVE TO SHITCH ROWS ¢ 
PIVOTING) TO AVOID ZEROS IM DIAGONAL. 
8 REM ¥* OR TO AVOID ROUNDOFF ERROR 

9 REM THIS IS AN EXACT METHODHHHHREEHE 
JEBREBHEEHE HEHE BEBE HEHHOGHHBGHHBHE 
18 7? “How many unknowns"; : INPUT 

15 DIM K(W) | 

20 DIM ACW, N41):REM %% LOAD MATRIX AND 


CHECK FOR ESSENTIAL PIVOTING 

21 FOR b-1 TO W 

22 FOR E-1 TO Nti 

Z3 PRINT “ACID "SEs 2='": SINPLT A 

24 ACD, EI=A 

25 WEXT E:WEXT BD 

26 FOR PIV=1 TO W 

27 IF ACPIV,PIV)=@ THEN 7 “ROWS MUST B 
E CHANGED": STOP 

28 IF ABSCACPIY,PIV))<8.61 THEN ? “CHA 
NGE ROWS TO REDUCE ROUNDOFF ERROR" 

29 MEXT PIV: REM 33¢ PROGRAM STARTS HERE 
SR 

3@ FOR R=1i TO WN 

46 B-ACR,R) 

5@ FOR J=1 TO N+1 

6@ ACR, JI=ACR, JD/B:WEXT J 

78 FOR I-1 TO W 

86 C=ACI,R) 

90 IF I=R THEN GOTO 121 

10@ FOR J=1 TO N+ 

118 ACI, JIZACT, J-ACR, JRC 

1280 NEXT J 

121 WEXT I 

122 WEXT R 

136 FOR L=1i TO WN | 

1480 HC(LI=ACL, N41) :PRINT CHRS(CL4+64));" 
="SHKCLI:WEXT L 

15@ END 


> Kaleidoscope 


To brighten things up, we’ve decided to end this column 
with a short graphics demo called “Kaleidoscope” that was 
submitted by thirteen-year-old Rafael Soriano of Pasadena, 
California. 

We receive lots of short routines that draw interesting pat- 
terns on the screen. But Rafael’s Kaleidoscope is easy to un- 
derstand, creates exciting patterns in either Graphics mode 
11 or 9, is lots of fun to modify, and is very pleasing to the eye. 


160 REM Kaleidoscope, by Rafael Soriano 
28 A=1 | 

3@ GR. ii 

40 FOR B-1 TO 79 

5@ ASAti:IF AX9 THEN A=1 

68 COLOR A 

78 PLOT B,C:DRAWTO 79-B,C 

88 PLOT B,C: DRANTO 79-B,196-C 

98 PLOT B,198-C:DRAWTO 79-B,198-C 

108 PLOT 6,190-C:DRANTO 79-B,C 

116 C-C+6:IF €)196 THEN C-@ 

120 MEXT B:A-At1:G60TO 20 , M 


APRIL 1985 ATARIEXPLORER 49 


FIRIENDL 


M.A.C.E.—Michigan Atari 
Computer Enthusiasts 


By David and Dorothy Heller 


ust five years ago, in May 1980, a small group of De- 

troit area computer pioneers headed by Arlan Levi- 

tan, decided to meet once a month at a local com- 

puter store. “We’d sit around, drink coffee, swap in- 

formation, and play with the computers,” says Kirk 
Revitzer, the group’s current president. “It was informal and 
intimate. Back then, if someone had said that our small 
group would grow to 1000 members and hold meetings in a 
large auditorium at the Southfield Michigan Civic Center, he 
would have been laughed out of the store.” 

M.A.C.E’s growth has been phenomenal. Part of the 
group’s success can be attributed to the broad acceptance of 
Atari's personal computers, but most of the credit has to go 
to the group’s leadership and members who have made sure 
that M.A.C.E. provides a forum for the meaningful exchange 
of useful information. 


Spreading the Word 


Communicating ideas and disseminating information at 
M.A.C.E. takes many forms that not only benefits group 
members, but the entire Atari community at large. 


Monthly Meetings 


Monthly meetings, usually attended by more than three- 


hundred members, form the nucleus of the Group’s activi- 
ties. Here, members of all ages gather to expand their Atari 
horizons. 

Giving members time to make copies of the eroup’s ‘s exten- 
sive public domain software library is the first order of busi- 
ness. When the disks stop whirling, a question and answer 
session covers topics as varied as the internal wiring of the 
computer to telecomputing (one of the most popular topics). 
The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, geared toward help- 
ing the new Atari computer owners derive the maximum 
benefit from their machines. 

“Demo time” is the center piece of each meeting. During 
this session, commercial and member-contributed software 
is projected on a giant ten-foot overhead screen. When the 
meeting breaks up, the demos are given to lucky members 
as door prizes. From time to time, software or hardware ven- 
dors visit a meeting to display their wares, answer ques- 
tions, and frequently offer the club’s. members special group 
discounts. 


$1.50 


pate: a 


M.A.C.E. JouRNAL 


“Devoted Exclusively To The Atari Computer User” 
IN THIS ISSUE... 


“4 OF CZTY LEFT 


: 418 . 
SeSt 3 SHZPS LEFT 


SW 
sSESTRUCTO BOMBS : 2 . 


THE 
PROTECTOR 


ga - @ 


Le Le 


DETROIT AREA BBS LIST 
UPS AND DOWNS OF AMODEMS 
PARTY QUIZ REVIEW 
ATARI LOGO WITH M/L 
GEMINI 1@0X PRINTER SETUP 
WORD COUNTER FOR ATARIWRITER 
.AND MORE! 


Published by the Michigan Atari Computer Enthusiasts 


To wrap up each meeting, the members of M.A.C.E’s Spe- 
cial Interest Groups (SIGs) get together. SIGs typically meet 


‘on their own schedule in one of the member’s houses, and 


the monthly meeting at the Civic Center gives them another 
chance to exchange information and plan their group’s ac- 
tivities. Today, M.A.C.E. SIGs help members learn more 
about: assembly language; telecomputing; Atari music 
(based on Advanced Music Player, an APX program); graphics; 
hardware; and computer literacy for new Atari computer 
owners. 


You don’t have to live in the Detroit area to benefit fou | 
M.A.C.E. membership. The Journal, the group’s slick 
monthly magazine, provides product reviews, program list- 














ings, M.A.C.E. information, and ‘how to do it’ articles to all 
its members, whether they live out-of-state or in a foreign 
country. 


: Telecomputing Trail-Blazers 


M.A.C.E. members are telecomputing trail-blazers, and 
one member, Jim Steinbrecher, has led the way. He wrote 
the original AMIS electronic bulletin board (Atari Message 
and Information Service), then turned his talents to writing 
a number of popular terminal programs including MINIA- 
TERM; AMISTERM; and AMODEM, a sophisticated termi- 
nal program that guarantees error-free file transfer by check- 


ing each bit of information as it’s transmitted. Jim hasn't _ 


rested on his laurels. His latest telecomputing marvels in- 
clude DISKTRANSFER, a program that allows an entire 720 
sector disk to be transferred between two Atari computers, 
and a version of AMODEM for use with Atari’s 835 and 1030 
modems. 

Jim, like many other M.A.C.E. members, operates his own 


electronic bulletin board, the ARCADE BBS. If you’ve got a 
modem, and would like to log on, a call ARCADE at 313- 


978-8087. 

Kirk Revitzer, the group’s current president, operates a 
newer version of AMIS. He calls his BBS, “THE TRADING 
POST,’ because you can trade information, ideas, hardware, 
and software on his system in either 300 or 1200 baud. Dial 
313-882-5909 to chat with Kirk. 

Other members who run their own bulletin boards in- 
clude: 

- Club Vice President, Alva Thomas: DART BOARD BBS— 
lig. 908-019 /, 

- Disk Librarian, Dave Zappa: FREEDOM BOARD BBS— 
313- 771-4126. 

- Recording Secretary, Dino Roggero: ETHERNET BBS (The 
original 1200 baud AMIS BBS)—313-531-1701. 


M.A.C.E/s Bulletin Boards and Hot-Line 


The M.A.C.E. group operates two 24-hour bulletin boards 
and a telephone voice ety line that are loaded with club in- 
formation: 

- Hot Line: 313-882-7104 

* MACE BBS: 313-978-1685 (Mike Lechkum, Systems Oper- 
ator) ) 

- MACE WEST BBS: 313-582-0657 (Managed by Systems Op- 
erator Sharie Middlebrook—300/1200 baud operation.) 


Start Your Own BBS With Help From 
MAC CE, 


You don’t have to bea M.A.C.E. member to start your own 
AMIS BBS. Just mail a check or money order for $5 to the 
Disk Librarian at the P.O. Box address listed at the end of this 
article, request “DISK Q,” and you'll be up and running. 


More Benefits of Membership 


A $20 per year membership gets you a one-year subscrip- 
tion to the Journal, access to the club’s eighty-five-disk public 
domain software library (more than 1000 programs), and en- 
ables you to take advantage of many cost saving group pur- 
chase offers. 


The club’s extensive software library includes arcade and 

adventure games, science programs, productivity software, 
computer utilities, and the latest telecomputing software. 
_ Acatalog of public domain software is available to members 
only for $1. The catalog includes a description of each pro- 
gram, the language it’s written in, and rates each program’s 
quality on a scale from 1 to 10. 


Your Most Important Peripheral 


A M.A.C.E, Journal editorial says that this club is “the most 
important peripheral you'll ever own.” This holds true for all 
Atari Users’ groups like M.A.C.E., who are dedicated to pro- 
viding you with the Mea Atari user support system avail- 
able. 


Vital Statistics 


If you would like to become a M.A.C.E. member, receive 


_ their magazine, or participate in their Software Exchange 


Program, write: 
Michigan Atari Computer Enthusiasts 
P:OBOX 2785 
Southfield, Mich 48037 
If you have a modem, and want to chat with M.A.C.E., call 


either 313-978-1685, or 313-582-0675. 


Hangman: The M.A.C.E. Version 


Jim Wilson has written perhaps the best computerized 
Hangman we've seen. As you play against the computer, the 
letters you've already used are deleted from the display. At 
the end of each round your score and the computer's are 
displayed. Jim’s computer adaptation is actually lots more 
fun to play than the traditional paper-and-pencil version. 

Room has been left in the program, in lines 2040-2990, to 
allow you to insert your own words by entering additional 
DATA statements. Just make sure that the last DATA state- 
ment is the same as current line 2990; DATA ****. The four 
asterisks act as a flag to tell the program that it’s reached the 
end of the data. 


1@ REM HANGMAN 1.5 

28 REM by Jim Wilson 

3@ REM (C) 1983 Wilson Software 

40 REM Berkley, Mi 

5@ REM All rights reserved __ 

6@ REM Provided to ATARI EXPLORER 
courtesy of | 

78 REM M.A.C.E. | 

88 REM The Michigan Atari Computer 
Enthusiasts 

98 REM 

168 DIM ALPHABETS (26) , ANSHERS (16) , BODY 

-$(23) , CHECKS (10) ,L$ C1), MAMES (10) , TYPES 

C13) , UNUSEDS (26) , WORDS (26) 

118 TYPES="BY JIM WILSON" 

12@ GRAPHICS 17 


138 POKE 53774,112:POKE 16,112 
CONTINUED 





140 POKE 712,50:POKE 788,58 

15@ FOR DELAY=1 TO 10@:NEXT DELAY 

16@ K-@:Y-@ 

17@ POSITION K,¥:? #6;"N":GOSUB 470:P0 
SITION K,¥:? 6; " 

18@ IF Y=1@ THEN POSITION X,Y:? 8%6;"N" 
sKx=14:Y=@:G0SUB 56@:G0TO 208 

198 K=K+i:¥=¥41:G0TO 170 

200 POSITION K,Y¥:? %6;"H":GOSUB 476:P0 
SITION K,Y¥:? 86;" " 

210 IF Yx1@ THEN POSITION K,Y¥:?7 86;"H" 
'4=2:Y=20:605UB 56@:GOTO 238 

220 K=X-1:Y=¥+1:G0TO 260 

230 POSITION K,¥:7 #6;"1":GOSUB 470:P0 
SITION X,Y:? %6;" " 

240 IF Y=1@ THEN POSITION K,Y¥:? #6;"1" 
-$M=16:Y=20:G0SUB 560:G0T0 268 

258 K=X41:Y=Y-1:G0T0 236 

26@ POSITION K,¥:? %6;"M':GOSUB 470:P0 
SITIOW K,¥:? #6;"" " 

270 IF Y=1@ THEN POSITION X,Y¥:? #6;""H" 
©X=16:Y=20:G05SUB 560:GOTO 298 

280 K=K-1:Y=Y-1:G0T0 260 

290 POSITION K,Y:? 86;"N":GOSUB 470:P0 
SITIOM H,¥:? #6;" " 

30@ IF Y-10 THEN POSITION X,Y:? %6;"""" 
SM=15:Y=8:G0SUB 568:G0TO 328 

310 M=K-1:Y=Y-1:G0TO 290 

320 POSITION K,¥:? 86;"A":GOSUB 476:P0 
SITION X,¥:7 %6;"" " 

33@ IF Y=10 THEN POSITION X,Y¥:7 %6;"'A" 
°K=3:Y=20:G05UB 560:G0TO 356 

340 K=X-L:Y=Y¥+L:G60TO 320 | 

35@ POSITION K,¥:? 86;".":GOSUB 476:P0 
SITIOM K,¥:? #6;" " 

36@ IF Y=1@ THEN POSITION X,Y¥:? %6;"." 
°K-@:Y=1:G05UB 568:G0T0 38@ 

37@ K=Xti:Y=Y-1:G60TO 350 

38 POSITION X,¥:? #6;"A":GOSUB 478:P0 
SITION X,¥:7 #6;" " 

390 IF Y=10 THEN POSITION X,Y:? #%6;"A" 
°4=4:Y=28:G05UB 560:G0TO 418 

409 K=X+i:Y=Y¥+1:GOTO 3860 

41@ POSITION K,¥:7 #6;"5":GOSUB 470:P0 
SITION X,Y:? #6;" " 

470 IF Yx1@ THEN POSITION X,¥:?7 86;"5" 
‘Hx=17:Y=28:G05UB 566:G0TO 440 

430 M=K+L:Y=Y-1:G0TO 418 

440 POSITION K,¥:? 86;"G":GOSUB 476:P0 
SITION K,¥:7 86;" " 

450 IF Y=1@ THEN POSITION X,¥:? #6;"G" 
'GOSUB 56@:G0TO 488 

460 HxX-L:Y=Y-1:G0TO 440 

470 RETURN 


480 X=3:Y=12 

49@ FOR DELAY=1 TO SO:WEXT DELAY 

560 GOSUB 3008 

51@ FOR I=i TO LENC(TYPES) 

520 POSITION X,Y:? RO; TYPESCI, 1) :X=H+! 
530 IF TYPES(I,1}=" " THEN GOSUB 580:N 
EXT I | 

540 GOSUB 5S7@:NEXT I 

558 GOTO 598 

560 FOR Vzi4 TO @ STEP -@.5:50UND 6,13 
,4,V: NEXT ¥SRETURN 

S78 FOR Vid TO @ STEP -1:SOUND 0,13,4 
,VINEXT UV: RETURN 

S80 FOR DELAY=1 TO 14:NEXT DELAY:RETUR 

Bist, 

59@ GRAPHICS 1:POKE 710,5@:POKE 712,50 
:POKE 708,58; YOU=@:ME-@ 

600 POKE 16,112:POKE 53774, 112 

61@ POSITION 4,10:7 %6;"HANGMAN 1.5":P 

OSITION 3,12:7 86;"BY JIM HILSON" 

620 Z-INT(3Z*RND(G) 41) RESTORE 2610:X= 

INT (S@XRND (8) +1) 

638 7 " ENTER YOUR FIRST MAME “ 

640 INPUT NAMES 

65@ POKE 709,2 

66@ FOR I=i TO X 

678 READ WORDS 

680 A=1 

690 IF WORDS="9888!" THEN RESTORE 2010: 

KIINT (S@*RND (O)41) GOTO 668 

700 NEXT I 

718 GOTO 790 

72@ FOR I=i TO K 

736 READ WORDS 

740 IF WORDS="NHHEE THEN RESTORE 2010: 

K-INT (SGXRND (0) 41) :GOTO 720 

750 WEXT I 7 

760 ALPHABETS=""" 

776 A=1 

780 IF WORDS='"98H8e" THEN RESTORE 2010: 

K=INT(SORRND (0) 41) :GOTO 720 

798 GRAPHICS 1 

800 POKE 16,112:POKE 53774, 112 

818 REM INITIALIZE REMAINING LETTERS 

STRING 

820 UNUSEDS="ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPORSTUVHKY 

z* 

830 POKE 708,154:POKE 71@,144:POKE 712 

144 | | 

840 POSITION 1,0:7 86;NAMES;"'S HANGMA 

ge we i 

850 POSITION @,1:7 %6;" 


SSS 


660 POSITION 13,2:PRINT %6;°SCORE™ 





87@ POSITION 13,437 %6;"YOU ";YOU:POSI 

TION 14,5:7 HO;"ME "SME 

880 POSITION 1,3:7 %6;4HHREHE 

890 POSITION 1,4:7 %6;"% =I” 

906 FOR I=5 TO 14 

910 POSITION 1,1:2 6; "e" 

920 NEXT I 

930 POSITION @,15:7 §6; “see 

940 POSITION @,16:7 #6; eEHe 

95@ POSITION 12,9:7 #6;"LETTERS" 

960 POSITION 11,10:? 86;"REMAINING" 

970 POSITION 11,11:7 %6;"'--- 

986 POSITION 11,12:7 %6;"ABCDEFGHI":P0 
SITION 11,1337 86;"JKLMNOPOR: POSITION 
41;14:7 %6;"STUUMKYZ" 

990 REM PRINT BLANK SPACES 

1080 POSITION @,16:FOR I=1 TO LENCWORD 

$35? M65 “Ss sMEXT I 

1010 REM INITIALIZE CHECK WORD LENGTH 

1020 FOR I=i TO LENCWORDS) :CHECKS(I, 1) 

=": MEXT Li ANSHERS=WORDS 

1638 C=-6@ 

104@ POKE 752,1:? :? :2 " GUESS A LETT 

ER 68 


105@ POKE 709,1@:POKE 752, 1:CLOSE #1 
1060 POKE 764,255 

1070 OPEN #1,4,0,°K:" 

1680 GET #1,L 


109@ POKE 769,1 

1108 GOSUB 1976 

1110 IF NOT COK) THEN 1058 

1120 LS=CHRS{L) 

113@ IF LS=""' THEM 1050 

1148 REM REMOVE INPLIT LETTER FROM 
REMAINING LETTER STRING 

1158 FOR I=1 TO LEWCUMUSEDS) 

1160 IF UNUSEDS(I,1)=LS THEN UNUSEDSCI 

T=" ":G0TO 1186 

1178 WEXT I 

118@ REM REMOVE INPUT LETTER FROM 
STRING 

4198 O-=11:6=12 

120@ FOR I=1 TO LENCUMUSED$) 

1210 POSITION D,E:? %6;UNUSED$(I, 1): b= 

b+1 

1220 IF 0=20 THEN O-11:E=Et1 

123@ NEXT I | 

1248 REM REMOVE INPUT LETTER FROM 
INPUT REJECT STRING 

1250 FOR M-1 TO LENCALPHABETS) 

1260 IF ALPHABETS$=""" THEN 1296 

1278 IF ALPHABETS (M,M)=LS$ THEN 7 ""R'*:6 

TO 1058 

1288 NEXT M 


1298 REM CHECK WORD FOR INPUT LETTER 
1300 Cx=Cti 

131@ 8-8 

132@ FOR I=1i TO LEWC(WORDS) 

1330 IF MORDS(I,I)=L$ THEN B=1:G0T0 15 
78 

1348 WEXT I 

1358 IF B=@ THEN 1370 

1368 GOTO 1958 

1370 REM HANGHAN CHARACTER 

1388 BODYS="/-\ CA, ADEE -- Css" 
1390 ON A GOTO 1410,144@,1470,1490,151 
@,1538 havi 

1406 REM HEAD 

1410 POSITION 5,5:7 86;BODYS (1,3): POSI 
TION 4,6:7 H6;BODYS (4,8) :POSITION 5,7: 
? M6;BODYS(9, 11) :A=AtL 

142@ GOSUB 1928:G0TO 1058 

1438 REM BODY 

1448 POSITION 6,8:? 86;BOOY$ (12,12): PO 
SITION 6,9:7 #6;BODYS (13,13) : POSITION 
6,10:? 86;BODYS (14,14): POSITION 6, 11:7 
6; B0 

1458 A=A+1:G05UB 1920:G0T0 1058 

1466 REM LEFT ARM ONE 
1470 POSITION 4,9:7? #6;B0DY$(16,17):A= 
A+1:G0SUB 1928:G0TO 1058 

148@ REM RIGHT ARN 

1496 POSITION 7,9:? #6;B0DY$ (18,19): A= 
A+1:G05UB 1920:G0T0 1058 

1500 REM LEFT LEG 

1510 POSITION 5,12:7 #6;BODY$ (20,20) :P 
OSITION 4,12:7 #6;BODY$(21, 21) :A=AtL:G 

OSUB 1926:G0TO 1050 

152@ REM RIGHT LEG 

1530 POSITION 7,12:? #6;BODY$(22,22):P 
OSITION 8,12:7 #6; BODY$(23, 23) :A=AtL 
1540 POKE 709,1@:POKE 752,1:7 :? :? 3? 
“SORRY, YOU HAVE BEEN HANGED.“ 

1556 ? "THE C@RRECT WORD WAS “; ANSWERS 
sts MESME+I POSITION 17,5:7 96;ME:605 
UB 3008 

1568 GOTO 176@ 

1578 REM PLACE CORRECT LETTERS 

158@ OW I GOTO 1590, 1600, 1610, 162@, 163 
@, 1646, 1650, 1668, 1676, 1680 

1599 POSITION 6,18:7 #6;WORDS(I,1):605 
UB 1870:GOSUB 1700:G0TO 1348 

1600 POSITION 2,18:7 86;WORDS(I,1}:605 
UB 1870:GOSUB 170@:GOTO 1348 

1618 POSITION 4,18:7 %6;WORDS(I,1):G05 
UB 1870:GOSUB 1700:GOTO 1340 

1620 POSITION 6,18:? #6; WORDS (I,1I):G05 


CONTINUED 





HB 1876:GOSUB 1700:G0TO 1348 

1630 POSITION 8,18:7 #6; WORDS(I,I) 3605 
UB 1876:GO5UB 170@:GOTO 1348 

1640 POSITION 10,18:7 86; WORDS(I,1):60 
SUB 1870:G05U8 170@:G0T0 1348 


1656 P°>SITION 12,18:7 86;WORDS(I,1):60 


5UB 1876:G05UB 1700:G0TO 1346 

16660 POSITION 14,18:7 #6; WORDS(1I,1):G0 

SUB 1870:G05UB 1708:GOTO 1346 

1678 POSITION 16,18:7 6; WORDS (1,13 :G0 

SUB 1876:G05UB 1706:GO0TO 1340 

1680 POSITION 18,18:?7 #6;WORDS(I,1I):G0 

SUB 18780:GOSUB 1700:G0TO i348 

1690 REM REPLACE CORRECTLY GUESSED 
LETTER WITH CHECK CHARACTER 

1700 WORDS (I, 1)="e" 

1710 IF WORDS=CHECKS THEN POP :G0TO 17 

38 

1728 RETURN 

173@ FOR DELAY=1 TO 25:MNEXT BELAY 

1746 FOR I=-1 TO 8:FOR Y=15 TO @ STEP - 

1:;50UND @,26,10,V: NEXT Y:NEXT I 

1758 7? :? :? “VERY GOOD, YOU GUESSED T 

HE WORD!" : YOU-YOU+1: POSITION 17,4:7 6 

;YOU:POKE 709,10 

1766 POKE 752,80:7 :? "DO YOU WANT 10 P 

LAY AGAIN?™; ;CLOSE Hi: GOSUB 3e8@ 


1778 LS=CHRS({L) 


1780 IF L$="¥" THEN CHECKS=""": ALPHABET 
Sx": Z=INT C32*RND CO) 41) :RESTORE 2610:X 
INT (SORRND (8) 41):G0TO 720 

1798 IF L$="N" THEN 1820 

1800 7:7 :7 37 :POKE 789,10 

1810 GOTO 1768 | 

1820 7:7? :7 :? :7 37 “DOES ANOTHER PE 
RSON WANT TO PLAY?"; :POKE 709, 10:CLOSE 
1:G05UB 3e8e@ 

183@ L$=CHRS (CL) 

1840 IF L$="Y" THEN ALPHABETS="": CHECK 
$="":60TO 598 

1850 IF LS="N" THEN GRAPHICS @:END 
1866 7 :7 :? :GOTO 18286 

1876 SOUND 1,60,10,15 

1886 FOR K=1 TO 25:WEXT K 

189@ SOUND 1,0,0,8 

1908 ALPHABETS (C)=L$ 

1918 RETURN 

1920 SOUND 1,40,12,15 

193@ FOR K=1 TO 25:NEXT K 

194@ SOUND 1,0,0,6 

195@ ALPHABETS (C)=L$ 

1968 RETURN 


197@ REM SUBROUTINE TO CHECK INPUT 


LETTER 15 A 10 Z 
1988 OK=@ | 
1998 IF L<65 OR ane RETURN 
200@ OK=1: RETURN 
2010 DATA HOUSE, BANANA, HAMBURGER, BOOK, 
BICYCLE, CHICKEN, SCHOOL , NECKLACE, THUNDE 
R, GARAGE , AUTOMOBILE, TELEVISION : 
2028 DATA CABBAGE, FAMILY, STEREO, JACKET 
, SLIPPERY, LAWNMOWER , ELEPHANT, ROBE, ELEY 
ATOR, PRINCESS, STOMACH, LIZARD, CAT 
2030 DATA SUGAR, MUSTARD, ENVELOPE, COVER 
, CUCUMBER , BUSH, NEHSPAPER, SLIPPERS, CATS 
UP, TOMATO, WRIST, SLEEVE, PICTURE 
2048 DATA LIGHTNING, STOVE, HANGMAN, TRAI 
WN, COW, SNING, CHAIR, QUEEN, YELLOW, COUCH, A 
WHING, FENCE, COMPUTER, MICROWAVE 
2058 REM . 
2060 REM Enter your own words here. 
Make sure that the final 
data statement i5 “DATA wHHGe 
2078 
2998 
3008 RESTORE 3130 
3018 READ PITCH, DURATION, REST 
3028 POKE 540, DURATION | 
3030 IF PITCH=-1 THEN RETURN 
3048 SOUND @,PITCH,10,8 
3050 IF PEEK(540)=8 THEN SOUND 0,8,9,8 
:GOTO 3078 : 
3868 GOTO 3040 
3070 POKE 5480,REST:GOTO 3019 
3880 POKE 764,255 
3090 OPEN $1,4,0,"K:" 
3108 GET #1,L 
3118 POKE 789,1 
312@ RETURN | 
3136 DATA 204,36,9,204,36,9,217,12,9,2 
04,36,9,173,36,9,182,12,9,182,36,9, 204 
,12,9,204,36,9,217,12,9,204,42,9,-1 
3148 DATA 6,0 











CONTINUED FROM 12 


COMPUTER WIZARDS 
530 South Dobson Road #359 
Mesa, AZ 85202 


NORTH WEST PHOENIX ATARI 
_ CONNECTION. 

P.O. Box 36364 

Phoenix, AZ 


NORTH WEST PHOENIX ATARI 
CONNECTION 

P.O. Box 36364 

Phoenix, AZ 80000 


CALIFORNIA 


ATARI ANONYMOUS 
9616 Lemon Avenue 
Alta Loma, CA 91701 


VICTOR VALLEY ACE 
16190 Wimbleton Drive 
Victorville, CA 92392 


BAKERSFIELD ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

3712 Rickey Way 

Bakersfield, CA 93309 


LOWELL ATARI USERS’ CLUB 
1655 47th Avenue 
San Francisco, CA 94112 » 


SAN LEANDRO COMPUTER CLUB 
FOR ATARI 

P'©. "Box 1525 

San Leandro, CA 94577-0152 

Ist Tues. 


AROUND HERE ATARIANS 
226 Palm Drive 
Piedmont, CA 94610 


VAL-NAP ATARI COMPUTER 
USERS’ 

2291 Sacramento Street 
Vallejo, CA 94590 


CORDELIA AREA COMPUTER 
GROUP 

572 Silverado Circle 

Cordelia Village, CA 94585 


NAPA ATARI PROGRAMMING 
ASSOCIATION 

2141 Shurtleff Avenue 

Napa, CA 94559 


DIABLO VALLEY ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

1404 Noia Avenue 

Antioch, CA 94509 


LIVERMORE ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

4382 Arabian Road _ 
Livermore, CA 94550 

2nd Tues. 


MARE ISLAND 3D COMPUTER 
GROUP 

723 Cypress Circle 

Fairfield,CA 94533 


BAY AREA ATARI ee GROUP 
P.O. Box 50459 

Palo Alto, CA 94303 

Ist Mon. | 


S.F. CHIPS 
100 Lake Street, Apt. 2 
San Francisco, CA 94118 


SALINAS VALLEY ATARI 
COMPUTER ENTHUSIASTS 
Russell Road, #98 

Salinas, CA 93906 


FRESNO ATARI COMPUTER 
SECTOR 

834 .West Street 

Sanger, CA 93657 


FRESNO ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

2530 W. Alamos 

Fresno, CA 93705 


CAUCE US: 
P.O. Box 15201 


- Fresno, CA 93702 


SANTA MARIA/LOMPOC ATARI 
USERS’ GROUP 

P.O. Box 2286 

Orcutt, CA 93455 


THE WINDHOVER PROJECT 
P.O. Box 5370 
Vandenberg AFB, CA 93437 


S.L.O. POKES ATARI COMP 


- USERS’ GROUP 


P.O. Box 4156 
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403 


KERN VALLEY ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

P.O. Box 1833 

Lake Isabella, CA 93240 


VENTARI 
1569 Raccoon Court 
Ventura, CA 93003 


ATARI HACKERS ANONYMOUS 
(A-HA) 

365 Hillsboro Way 

Goleta, CA 93117 


SANTA BARBARA ATARI 


ENTHUSIASTS 
5386 Ogan Road 
Carpenteria, CA 93013 


ATARI COMP. ASSOC. OF 
ORANGE COUNTY 

P.O. Box 9419 

Fountain Valley, CA 92728 


4th Sun. 


ATARI COMPUTER USERS’ 
EXCHANGE OF WEST G 


“P.O. Box 5125 


Garden Grove, CA 92645 


THE ROYAL ORDER OF DIGITAL 
KNIGHTS 

PSC Box 1906 

March AFB, CA 92518 


RIVERSIDE USERS GROUP F OR 
ATARI COMPUTER 

11501 Spruce Ave. 

Bloomington, CA 92316 

Glendale Federal Savings, Riverside 


SAN DIEGO ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

P.O. Box 203076 

San Diego, CA 92138 


THE DIGITAL CIRCUIT 
2180 Wayne Road 
Palm Springs, CA 92262 


THE I/O CONNECTOR 
P.O. Box 81444 
San Diego, CA 92138 


SPRING VALLEY, LA MESA ATARI 
COMPUTER US 

10836 Wagon Wheel Drive 

Spring Valley, CA 92078 


ATARI ANONYMOUS - A USERS’ 
GROUP 

Foothill Computer Center 

Upland, CA 91766 


ATARI KIDS OF CLAREMONT 
23602 Decorah Road 


Diamond Bar, CA 91765 


HOOKED ON ATARI COMP 
KEYBOARD SOCIETY ~ 
6055 Cahuenga Blvd. #2 
N. Hollywood, CA 91606 


Be Re ©.) /S: 
P.O. Box 1823 
Mill Valley, CA 94941 


DELTA ATARI USERS’ GROUP 
1720 South Hotchins #20 
Lodi, CA 95240 


WILLITS COMPUTER USERS’ 
GROUP : 

P.O. Box 1213 

Willits, CA 95490 


A.C.C.E.S.S. 
P.O. Box 1354 
Sacramento, CA:95806 


THE REDDING AREA COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

P.O. Box 6007-169 

Redding, CA 96099 


BOB AND MIKE’S OUR GANG 
COMPUTER CLUB 

117 Rutherford Drive 

eee CA 95688 


SOLAN O ATARI COMPUTER. 
ENTHUSIASTS 

5699 Cherry Glen Road 
Vacaville, CA 95688 


GAMING ACTIVISTS 
METHODICALLY EX. SERV. 
80 Olde Forest Lane 

Eureka, CA 95501 


REDWOOD ATARI GROUP 
2305 Jose Avenue 

Santa Rosa, CA 95401 

4th Sat. 


MODESTO ATARI COMPUTER 
CLUB 

P.O. Box 3811 

Modesto, CA 95352 

2nd Wed. 


A-MAGIC 
POVBox<l3a35 
Merced, CA 95341 


ATARI ENTHUS. 
COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK 
4875 Alex Drive 

San Jose, CA 95130 


_ ATARI USERS’ GROUP OF SOUTH 


SANTA CLARA 


_ 15250 La Rocca Drive 


Morgan Hill, CA 95037 


ESCAPE 
76 Rancho Del Mar 
Aptos, CA 95003 


LOS ANGELES ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUOUS?*. 
P.O. Box 7752 


~ Van Nuys, CA 91409 


THOUSAND OAKS GROUP ATARI 
10836 Thousand Oaks Blvd. 
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 


NORTH VALLEY ATARI 
COMPUTER USERS’ GROUP 
12824 Neon Way 

Granada Hills, CA 91344 


JPL ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

4800 Oak Grove Drive 
Pasadena, CA 91109 





USE NS. GK 


LONG BEACH ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

2408 Eckleson 

Lakewood, CA 90712 


ISLAND COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

P.O. Box 1566 ~ 
Avalon, CA 90704 


SOUTH BAY ATARI COMP 
ENTHUSIASTS. _ 

5052 Range Horse Lane 
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274 


WEST LOS ANGELES ATARI | 
USERS’ GROUP 

P.O. Box 84-396 

Los Angeles, CA 90073 


JUNIOR ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

1031 North Curson Ave. 

Los Angeles, CA 90046 


EL MOLINO COMPUTER CLUB 


9484 Westside Road 
Forestville, CA 


COLORADO | 


THE COUNCIL OF ELROND 
619 Gaylord Avenue 
Pueblo, CO 81004 


Po ACE 
P.O. Box 16751 
Colorado Springs, CO 80935-6751 


LOVELAND ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

629 W. 8th 

Loveland, CO 80537 


FORT COLLINS ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

616 v2 E. Laurel : 

Fort Collins, CO 80521 


ATARI COMPUTER CLUB OF 
DENVER 

5407 W. 4th Avenue 
Lakewood, CO 80226 


STARFLEET ATARI COMP USERS’ 
GROUP 

7685 S$. Datura Giri 

Littleton, CO 80120 


BOULDER ATARI USERS’ GROUP. 
363 Matchless Street 
Louisville, CO 80027 


EASTERN COLORADO GROUP 
16486 E. 17th Place #118 


~Aurora, CO 80011 


CONNECTICUT 


ATARI USERS OF SOUTHERN 
CONNECTICUT 

112 Hawthorne Drive 

Fairfield, CT 06432 


CENTRAL CONNECTICUT 
COMPUTER CLUB 
149 Creamery Road 
Cheshire, CT 06410 


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA | 


WASHINGTON DC ATARI USER 
GROUP 

1800 G. Street NW 

Washington, DC 20036 

3rd Tues. 


CONTINUED 





FLORIDA 


TRANSISTHMIAN ATARI COMP. 


ENTHUS. 
PSC Box 417 
APO, Miami, FL 34008 


PANAMA CANAL ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

PSC Box 3268 

APO, Miami, FL 34.° 2 


TAMPA BAY AREA ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

812 West River Drive 

Tampa, FL 33617 


DADE CITY ATARI CLUB 
Rt. 3, Box 754 
Dade City, FL 33525 


ATARI CLUB OF THE PALM 
BEACHES . 

15993 S.W. Eighth Ave., #B-101 
Delray Beach, FL 33444 


WEST BROWARD ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP. 

9411 N.W. 10th Street 

Jacaranda Lakes, FL 33322 


CORAL SPRINGS ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

10122 N.W. 3rd Place 

Coral Springs, FL 33065 


ATARI BOOSTERS LEAGUE EAST 
P.O. Box 1172 
Winter Park, FL 32790 


MIRACLE STRIP ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

110B Azalea Dr. 

Eglin AFB, FL 32542 


JACKSONVILLE ATARI COMP 
ENTHUSIASTS 

1187 Dunbar Court 

Orange Park, FL 32073 


GEORGIA 


WAYCROSS AREA COMPUTER 


CLUB 
Route 5, Box 442-B 
Waycross, GA 31501 


RAINBOW 
2326 Shirley Drive 
Savannah, GA 31404 


ATARI USERS’ GRP, C.S.R.A. 
CLUB 

3222 Crane Ferry Road 
Augusta, GA 30907 


ATLANTA COMPUTER SOCIETY, 
INC. ; 

P.O. Box 888771 

Atlanta, GA 30356 


COMPUTER HOBBYISTS OF 
ROME 

7 Wells Drive 

Rome, GA 30161 


CONTACT 
696 Rollingwood Place 
Stone Mountain, GA 30087 


IOWA 


HAWKATARI 
2565 22nd: Avenue 
Marion, IA 52302 


BLACKHAWK A.C.E. 
729 Wildwood Drive 
Waterloo, [A 50702 
4th Sun. 


M.A.G.I.C. 
1125 Third Street 
Ames, IA 50010 


IDAHO 


BOISE USERS’ GROUP 
1030 EI Pelar 
Boise, ID 83702 


ALPHA CENTARI 
P.O. Box 87 
Newdale, ID 83436 


POCATELLO ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

1025 Fairbanks 

Pocatello, ID 83201 


ILLINOIS 


WAYNE CITY ATARI USERS GROUP 


Rt. 242 South p 
Wayne City, IL 62895 


LINCOLNLAND ATARI GROUP 
2620 Lemont Drive 
Springfield, IL 62704 


VINCENNES ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

1730 South 12th 

Lawrence, IL 62439 


AURA 
P.O. Box 156 
Wood River, IL 62095 


ILLINOIS CONSOLIDATED 
COMPUTER CLUB 

1215S. 17th Street 

Mattoon, IL 61938 


ILLIANA A.C.E. 
1 South Westville Lane 
Westville, IL 61883 


B.A.S.E. 
P.O. Box 33 
Bloomington, IL 61701 


PEORIA ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

P.O. Box 132 

Washington, IL 61571 

Ist Wed. 


McDONOUGH COUNTY ATARI 
USERS’ GROUP 

604 W. Carroll 

Macomb, IL 61455 


Q.C. ATARI COMPUTER CLUB 
1213 11th Street 
Silvis, IL 61282 


ROCKFORD ATARI COMPUTER 
CLUB 

10062 Gentian Drive 

Rockford, IL 61111 


SEARLE ATARI COMP USERS’ 
GROUP 

G.D. Searle & Co., Box 5110 
Chicago, IL 60680 


COMPUTER SQUAD 
2625 Corinth Road 
Olympia Fields, IL 60461 


CHICAGOLAND ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

385 N. Catalda Ave. 

Woodale, IL 60191 


SUBURBAN CHICAGO ATARIANS 
P.O. Box 72266 

Roselle, IL 60172 

Ist Sat. 


LAKE COUNTY ATARI USERS 
GROUP 

409 S. Elmwood Ave. 

Waukegan, IL 60085 

1st Saturday, Great Lakes Naval Base 


INDIANA 


WELLS ATARI COMPUTER 
OWNERS 

1422 Hunter Road 

Bluffton, IN 46714 

2nd Tues. 


ALIEN | 
7091 Broadway 
Merrillville, IN 46410 


CENTRAL INDIANA ATARI 
GROUP 

7811 Clarendon Road 
Indianapolis, IN 46000 


~ KANSAS 


WICHITA ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

825 N. Harding 

Wichita, KS 67208 


MID CONTINENT ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

115 East Oak Valley 

Manhattan, KS 66502 


KC-ACE 
P.O. Box 25442 
Shawnee Mission, KS 66225 


LAWRENCE ATARI COMPUTER 
CLUB 

P.O. Box 1415 

Lawrence, KS 66044 


KENTUCKY 


CURSOR 
Box 172-A, Route 3 
Calvert City, KY 42029 


LOUISIANA 


BATON ROUGE ATARI GROUP 
c/o Comp Elect, 1955 Dallas Drive 
Baton Rouge, LA 70806 


ATARI PROGRAMMING ENTHUS 
OF SLIDELL ; 

130 Matthews Drive 

Slidell, LA 70458 


NEW ORLEANS ATARI COMP 
USERS’ GROUP 

8223 Plum Street 

New Orleans, LA 70118. 


MASSACHUSETTS 


HONEYWELL ATARI 
ENTHUSIASTS 

131 Scituate Street 
Arlington, MA 02174 


NORTH SHORE ATARI COMP 
USERS’ GROUP _ : 
P.O. Box 2052 

West Peabody, MA 01960 


SMAUG 
c/o Video Connection 


N. Dartmouth, MA 01843 


MERRIMACK VALLEY ATARI 
COMP ENTHUS 

159 Weare Street 

Lawrence, MA 01843 


BOSTON COMP SOC ATARI 
USERS’ GROUP 

9 Sullivan Terrace 
Framingham, MA 01701 


BERKSHIRE USERS’ GROUP 
(ATARI) 

P.O. Box 593, 10 Berkshire Hts. 
Great Barrington, MA 01230 


MARYLAND 


ARINC MICROCOMPUTER CLUB 
c/o ARINC Research, 2551 Riva Road 
Annapolis, MD 21401 


ATACOM USERS’ GROUP OF 
BALTIMORE 

6 Skylark Court, Apt E 
Baltimore, MD 21234 


WESTINGHOUSE ATARI GROUP 
5 First Avenue S. Ferndale 
Glen Burnie, MD 21061 


A.U.R.A. 

P.O. Box 7761 

Silver Spring, MD 20907 
Ist Wed. 


C.P.M. (Current Notes) 
8309 Bella Vista Terrace 

Ft. Washington, MD 20744 
4th Tuesday 


APL A.U.G. 

c/o APL John Hopkins Univ. 
Johns Hopkins Road, 8-136 
Laurel, MD 20707 


MAINE 


A-MUG 
c/o Hands On Comp, Box 1088 
Westbrook, ME 04092 


MICHIGAN 


HOLLAND ATARI USERS’ GROUP 
260 Roosevelt 
Holland, MI 49423 


HOOTERVILLE HACKERS 
7604 Red Arrow 
Watervliet, MI 49098 


BATTLE CREEK ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

2267 Gethings Road 

Battle Creek, MI 49017 


ATARI USER GROUPS 
INTERNATIONAL 
P.O. Box 16132 
Lansing, MI 48901 


TRI-CITY ATARI USERS’ GROUP 
5560 Tamarix Lane 
Saginaw, MI 48603 


SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN ATARI 
USERS’ 

38476 Ann Arbor Trail 

Livonia, MI 48150 


HURON ATARI COMPUTER CLUB 


P.O. Box 398 
Milford, MI 48042 


M.A.C.E. 

P.O. Box 2785 
Southfield, MI 48037 
3rd Tues. 


MINNESOTA 


TWIN CITIES ATARI INTEREST 
GROUP > 

684 Queen Avenue South 
Richfield, MN 55423 


TWIN CITY ATARI GROUP 
4145 Marriet Street 
Minneapolis, MN 55409 








MISSOURI 


NODAWAY ATARI GROUP 
Route #2 
Maryville, MO 64468 


McDONNELL DOUGLAS CO. 
P.O. Box 516 
St. Louis, MO 63166 


MISSISSIPPI 


COASTAL AREA ATARI USERS’ 


GROUP 

P.O. Box 5098 
Biloxi, MS 39534 
2nd Friday 


NEBRASKA 


OMAHA ATARI COMPUTER 


FEDERATION 
P.O. Box 993 
Bellevue, NE 68005 


NEW HAMPSHIRE 


NEW HAMPSHIRE ATARI 
COMPUTER CLUB 

P.O. Box 5288 

Manchester, NH 03108 


NEW JERSEY 


CENTRAL JERSEY USERS’ GROUP 


12 Hunterdon Avenue 
Spotswood, NJ 08884 


JERSEY ATARI COMPUTER 
SOCIETY 

21 Meetinghouse Court 
Vincentown, NJ 08088 


PHILADELPHIA AREA 
COMPUTER SOC. ACUG 
40 Balfour Lane 
Willingboro, NJ 08046 


MICROS OF MONMOUTH 
P.O. Box 221 
Englishtown, NJ 07726 


JERSEY ATARI COMPUTER 
GROUP 

_ 40 Lawrence Road 
Parsippany, NJ 07054 

2nd Sat. 


BAYWAY ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

P.O. Box 222 

Linden, NJ 07036 


NEW JERSEYS COMP CLUB OF 
BAYONNE 

1 Oak Court West . 

Bayonne, NJ 07002 


NEVADA 


HIGH SIERRA ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

303 East Emerson Way 
Sparks, NV 89431 


SOUTHERN NEVADA ATARI 
COMPUTER CLUB 

P.O. Box 27617 

Las Vegas, NV 89126 


NEW YORK 


BIT’S BYTE’S & PIECE’S 
1103 Arrowbend Drive 
Williamson, NY 14589 


WESTERN NEW YORK ATARI 
USERS GROUP 

P.O. Box 59 

Buffalo, NY 14216 


COMPUTER LINE ATARI 
502 Dencary Lane Apt. L 
Endwell, NY 13760 


ACE OF SYRACUSE 
322 Dickerson Drive 
Camillus, NY 13031 


A BUNCH OF ATARI COMPUTER 
OWNERS 

90-A Partition St. 

Saugerties, NY 12477 


CAPITAL DISTRICT A.C.E. 
P.O. Box 2233 _ 
Albany, NY 12220 


HACKER’S HEAVEN 
16 Marco Polo Drive 
Latham, NY 12110 


ATARI STAR USERS’ GROUP 
915 Oak Lane 
North Woodemere, NY 11581 


B.A.S.LC. 
2724 East 23rd Street 
Brooklyn, NY 11223 


ROCKLAND ATARI COMPUTER 
USERS’ GROUP 

29 Riverglen Drive 

Thiells, NY 10984 


ATARI USERS’ GROUP OF 
WESTCHESTER 

4 Charlotte Street 

White Plains, NY 10606 


BUSINESS ATARI USERS & 
DEVELOPERS 

P.O. Box 3608 

New York, NY 10185 


LAJES ATARI USERS GROUP 
Box 1644 
APO, NYC, NY 09406 


SPACE SIGNALS 
401st CSG/SSRR 
APO, NYC, NY 09283 


AFCENT/AWACS ATARI 
COMPUTER GROUP 
USAE, Box 201, AFCENT 
APO, NYC, NY 09011 


NORTH CAROLINA 


ATARI COMP USERS’ SOC 
FAYETTEVILLE 

P.O. Box 1117 

Fayetteville, NC 28302 


_CHARLOTTE ATARI USERS’ 


GROUP : 
P.O. Box 221133 
Charlotte, NC 28222 


TRIANGLE COMPUTER CLUB 
802 Madison Avenue 
Cary, NC 27511 


PIEDMONT TRIAD ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

6104 Knight Road 

Greensboro, NC 27410 


NORTH DAKOTA 


FORX ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

1179 B Maxwell 

Grand Forks AFB, ND 58205 


OHIO 


TRI COUNTY COMPUTER CLUB ~ 


344 East Patterson Street 
Dunkirk, OH 45836 


ATARI COMP ENTHUS OF 
SPRINGFIELD 

2735 Conestoga Street 
Springfield, OH 45503 


MIAMI VALLEY ACES 


P.O. Box 24221 
Dayton, OH 45424 


DAY-TARI 
5579 Maefel Lane 
Dayton, OH 45415 


SIDNEY-SHELBY COMP USERS’ 
GROUP 

800 W. Russell Road 

Sidney, OH 45365 


CIN’TARI ATARI COMPUTER 
ENTHUSIASTS 

1628 Bising Avenue#3 
Cincinnati, OH 45239 


ATARI COMP ENTHUS OF BROOK 
PARK 

6180 Delores Blvd. 

Brook Park, OH 44142 


~ ATARI COMP ENTHUS OF 


CLEVELAND 
1705 Lee Rd. 
Cleveland, OH 44129 


ATARI PEEKERS 
2055 Reveley Avenue 
Lakewood, OH 44107 


LA’ C.A.C.E. 
5782 Andrews 106-B 
Mentor On The Lake, OH 44060 


BLACKHAWK COMP SCIENCE 
ASSOCIATION 

843 Walbridge Avenue 

Toledo, OH 43609 


ATARI COMPUTER CLUB OF 
TOLEDO 

606-Carlton 

Toledo, OH 43609 


_ ATARI COMP ENTHUS CLUB OF 


OHIO : 
10285 Caskie Read 
Wayne, OH 43466 


ATARI MICROCOMP NW 
AMATEUR RADIO OP 

4749 S.R. 207 N.E. 
Washington C.H., OH 43160 


ATARI COMP ENTHUS OF 
COLUMBUS OHIO 

PO. Box 849 

Worthington, OH 43085 


NEWARK AREA COMPUTER 
USERS 

996 Lawnview Ave. 

Newark, OH 43055 


~ OKLAHOMA 


TULSA COMP SOCIETY ATARI 


ENTHUS 
121 S. 33rd Street 
Broken Arrow, OK 74014 


BARTLESVILLE USERS’ GROUP 
1814 Dewey 
Bartlesville, OK 74003 


DUNCAN AREA ATARI 
COMPUTER USERS 
Route 6, Box 313 
Duncan, OK 73533 

3rd Tuesday 


ERS GROUP 


ATARI COMP CLUB OKLAHOMA 
CITY INC 

PO. Box 32672 . 

Oklahoma, OK 73123 


OREGON 


ATARICOMPUTER ENTHUSIASTS 
3662 Vine Maple Drive 

Eugene, OR 97405 

2nd Sat. 


PORTLAND ATARI CLUB 
P.O. Box 1692 

Beaverton, OR 97005 

1st Monday 


PENNSYLVANIA 


BERKS READING AREA A.C_E. 
25 Angelica Street 
Reading, PA 19611 


COMPUSTARS : 
888 N. Hanover Street 
Pottstown, PA 19464 


PACENET 
Valley Stream Apts., J-304 
Lansdale, PA 19446 


NORTH AMER COMP SOCIETY- 
A.U.G. 

149 S. Grant Street 

Wilkes-Basre, PA 18702 


EAST SCRANTON ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

8 Prescott Place 

Scranton, PA 18510 


ABE’ ACES 

P.O. Box 228 
Whitehall, PA 18052 
2nd Sat. 


PACATRANYI EMPIRE 
RR #5 Box 59 
Danville, PA 17821 


RED ROSE ATARI MEMBERS 
(RAM) 

P.O. Box 7532 

Lancaster, PA 17604 


SOUTHCENTRAL PENN ATARI 
COMP ENTHUS 

88 Cherry Lane 

Carlisle, PA 17013 


GREATER INDIANA CTY A.C.E. 
R.D. 1 Box 167AA 
Marion Center, PA 15759 


WESTMORELAND ATARI 
ORGANIZATION 

230 Clairmont Street 

North Huntington, PA 15642 


BETTIS ATARI USER DEVOTEES 
3448 Forest Road 
Bethel Park, PA 15102 


PITTSBURGH A.C.E. 
969 Edna Street 
Bridgeville, PA 15017 
2nd Monday 


VALLEY ATARI COMPUTER CLUB 
R.D. #2 Coleman Drive 
Beaver, PA 15009 


RHODE ISLAND 


A.A.R.I. 
65 Russell Ave. 
East Providence, RI 02914 


FIRST ATARI CLUB OF RHODE 
ISLAND 
48 Dudley Avenue 
Newport, RI 02840 
CONTINUED ON 72 





REVIEWS 


58 








Infocom’s Cutthroats and Suspect — 


Reviewed by David Duberman 


t's ironic that two of the best new 

programs for the Atari personal 

computer do not make any use of 

the computer's graphics capa- 

bilities. But it begins to make sense 
when you learn the publisher’s name— 
Infocom. Cutthroats and Suspect, two 
new text adventures from prolific In- 
focom are now available and both offer 
some new things—the packaging and 
some unique twists—and some old 
things. Alas, we’ll see no more innova- 
tive game packages shaped like flying 
saucers and death masks; all Infocom 
adventures now come in the same 
book-sized box containing the program 
disk, assorted printed props, and a 
bound-in magazine-style introduction. 
Oh well, at least they’re easier to shelve. 
There’s something else that’s new about 
both Cutthroats and Suspect—each has 
a special twist that sets it apart from all 
other Infocom adventures. 

What is familiar about these two 
games is Infocom’s trademark: an inter- 
related series of original, challenging 
puzzles presented in interactive story 
form on the monitor screen. “Interac- 
tive” means that you are the main char- 
acter in the story. For the story to pro- 
ceed, you must enter instructions at the 
keyboard every step of the way. You 
hold conversations with characters in 
the story, follow them, pick up and 
drop objects, and more. The better the 
adventure, the more control you have 
over the unfolding of the story. In- 
focom’s latest adventures are so well- 
written that their fictional characters 
actually take on personalities and walk 
in and out of the scene as if they are 
alive. What’s more, you must take care- 
ful note of your computerized compan- 
ions’ comings and goings to solve cer- 
tain puzzles. This adds considerably to 


ATARI EXPLORER APRIL 1985 


the complexity of “mapping” an ad- 


venture—keeping track of where 
you've been and how to get back there. 
Fortunately, Infocom’s “Script” com- 
mand lets you print out crucial parts of 
the adventure for a permanent record. 


Dive into This! 


Cutthroats’ special twist involves al- 
ternate endings to the story. As a hard- 
drinking sailor on tiny New England- 
like Hardscrabble Island, you become 
involved in a scheme to plunder a long- 
missing sunken treasure ship. De- 
pending on the nature of a certain reve- 
lation that’s made to you early in the 
game (it’s pretty obvious when it hap- 
pens), you seek the treasure from ei- 
ther of two nearby underwater wrecks. 

The two sunken ships present vastly 
different challenges, so Cutthroats actu- 





ally gives you two bangs for your buck 
(or two adventures for your money). 
Of course, if you play both versions al- 
ternately, you'll need two disks on 
which to save your games. 

In the game’s violent opening, you 
are awakened at night by an old sailing 
buddy. He gives you a valuable map 
showing new, more accurate locations 
for two of the four treasure ships 
known to have fallen prey to the peri- 
lous shoals and narrow straits of Hard- 
scrabble Harbor. As soon as he leaves, 
he is murdered outside your window 
by a dark figure. 

The next day, a trio of sleazy local 
characters approaches you with a prop- 
osition. You have what they need— 
your diving skill and the correct coordi- 
nates for the treasure. You're not too 
crazy about their personalities and you 
really shouldn’t trust them with your 
life, but there’s no way you can retrieve 


the treasure on your own, so you join 
them. 

That much is preordained (you don’t 
have to cooperate with them, but there 
isn’t much of a story if you don’t). The 
rest is up to you. Depending on which 
treasure you seek, you must obtain the 
proper equipment and learn how to 
use it. You start out with a modest bank 
account, a diving outfit, and an equip- 
ment price list and tide table. As it 
turns out, getting your money out of 
the bank without being plagued by a 
nosy islander is one of your first obsta- 
cles. Reaching either of the sunken 
ships isn’t extremely difficult, but re- 
covering its treasure and extricating 
your still-breathing self requires the 
usual brain-twisting; a generous use of 
the Save and Restore commands 
doesn’t hurt either. 

Cutthroats is categorized by Infocom 
as a “Tale of Adventure,” a fairly accu- 
rate capsule description. The emphasis 
here is on action, although a certain 
amount of interaction is required at the 
beginning of the story. Cutthroats is a 
straightforward but challenging ad- 
venture game, and should take even an 
experienced puzzle solver at least a few 
weeks to work through. With a little 
common sense, even an inexperienced 
gamer should be able to make consider- 
able progress. 


A Mysterious Mystery 


Suspect, in sharp contrast to Cut- 
throats, is anything but straightforward. 
Cast in the mold of Infocom’s murder 
mysteries Deadline and The Witness, 
Suspect takes place ona rainy night ina 
large mansion. This time, instead of as- 
suming the role of a detective, you are 
_a reporter attending a society Hallow- 
een party in hopes of a story. Your hos- 


tess, Veronica Ashcroft, has inscribed a. 


mysterious message on your invita- 
tion. Unfortunately, before you have 
an opportunity to ask her about it, she 
is murdered. What's unique about Sus- 
pect is that it’s entirely open-ended. 
Your course of action is never “guided,” 
as in the beginning of Cutthroats. For 
example, without giving too much 
away, you have the opportunity of cov- 
ering up the crime if you act quickly. 
Suspect is probably the most ad- 
vanced Infocom game yet released. Its 
scope and complexity push the lan- 
guage and game parsers to their limits, 
as evidenced by the long disk accesses 
at most commands. The vocabulary 


_ you can use is quite large, and the lan- 


guage is generally well employed by 
Dave Lebling, who wrote this and Star- 
cross, and co-authored the Zork series 
and Enchanter. Although there’s. no 
magic (and a lot more dialogue), Sus- 
pect has something of the feel of En- 
chanter, especially after you get to know 
the game and learn about the several 
alternative scenarios. Lebling’s adven- 
tures possess a distinctive quality of 
‘openness’ that sets them off from most 
others. The authors of Cutthroats, on 
the other hand, take a more restrictive, 
mechanistic approach, resulting in a 
less memorable, but still very good, 
gaming experience. I’m not normally a 
mystery fan, soif [had to choose one of 
the two before seeing either, I'd have 
picked Cutthroats without hesitation. 
Having played both, Suspect would un- 
doubtedly now be my choice. 

To succeed in this game, you must 
solve the murder before you yourself 
are caught and convicted for it. Yes, the 
culprit has framed you, and you have 
only a few hours to discover him or her 
and prove your case. Unfortunately, 
this time you don’t have the power of 
the police behind you, and most of the 


‘Stealth 
Reviewed by 
Tracie Forman 


The action’s fast and furious—or 
slow and exacting —depending on how 
you play Stealth. This action offering by 
Tracy Lagrone and Richard E. Sansom 
challenges the player to pilot a single 
low-flying jet fighter into hostile 
enemy territory in a mission to reach 
and destroy the Dark Tower. 

The jet flies a path down the center 
of the screen. As long as you fly in a 
straight line the pathway appears 


guests consider you a nosy, obnoxious 
reporter. Unlike most Infocom adven- 
tures, you don’t receive a running score 
in Suspect. The only way you have of 
knowing whether you are on the right 
track is by following your nose for 
news. 3 

The party takes place in the ballroom 
of the Ashcroft mansion, but you are 
usually free to explore the ground floor 
of the house and the grounds in the im- 
mediate vicinity. The game “map” is 
relatively simple—experienced adven- 
turers probably won't need to sketch it 
out. What's more, Suspect involves rela- 
tively few objects. However, there are 
many guests at the party, at least ten of 
whom count as significant figures in 
the story, if notin the mystery. Each has 
his or her own opinion about the others 
(and about you as well!), and it’s up to 
you to determine which of these per- 
tain to the mystery at hand. 

Thus, by relying on only the few 
physical clues and your ingenuity, you 
must discover a motive for the killing, 
find the corresponding suspect, and 
prove your case. How, and to whom, 
do you prove it? That’s another mys- 
tery to solve. 





straight, while moving to the left or 
right changes the perspective to a dizzy- 
ing turn. Enemy obstacles line both 
sides of the path, with enemy jets fly- 
ing into attack positions directly ahead. 
During the course of the mission, the 
player encounters various harmful and 
helpful items. Radar, scout ships, mis- 
siles, bunkers, tanks and fighters will 
all do their best to defend their home 
CONTINUED 


APRIL 1985 ATARIEXPLORER 59 


turf. Being hit by gunfire decreases pre- 
clous energy reserves, while a head-on 
collision with an enemy object destroys 
your craft completely and starts you 
back at the beginning of the course if 
any lives remain in reserve. 


Positive and negative energy fields 
crop up at seemingly random intervals. 
These resemble oil slicks from a dis- 
tance. Each time the player's craft 
touches a yellow positive energy field, 
a high tone sounds and the ship gains 
energy. Touching a green, negative 
field results in a low tone and a corres- 
ponding energy loss. If there’s one 
major criticism that can be leveled 
against Stealth; it’s that the two energy 
fields are so similar in color that it’s 
nearly impossible to tell which fields 
are positive and which are negative, 
especially from a distance. It’s frustrat- 
ing to realize that you've just blasted a 
much-needed positive energy field out 
of the way, and worse still to mistak- 
enly hit a negative field. 


Flying speed is controlled by the 
player. A quick push on the joystick 
speeds the craft up to breakneck pack, 
while pulling back on it turns on the 
brakes in time to aima course right over 
an energy field. 

The final sequence at the gates of the 
Dark Tower itself is a bit disappointing. 
It just doesn’t seem challenging enough 
to merit grand finale status. In Stealth, 
getting there is more than half the fun! 


The graphics are generally quite 
good, with the aircraft depicted in col- 
orful detail and a pretty horizon line in 
the distance. The Dark Tower is usually 
visible in the background, growing 
larger as the player blasts a path toward 
it. Enemy radar, bunkers, fighters, and 
the rest are colorful and easy to distin- 
guish. Sound effects are good, and 


blend in nicely with the rest of the - 


game. 

Stealth is a pure and simple action 
game, with its emphasis on reflexes, 
joystick skill, and a careful trigger 
finger. There’s no need to worry about 
complex strategies as long as you keep 
an eye on fuel supplies. Since each shot 
atan enemy costs fuel points it’s not ad- 
visable to keep your finger on the trig- 
ger. Just wait for an enemy to pop up 
on the horizon, take aim, and fire. 


Action fans in the market for a fast- 
paced test of skill will no doubt enjoy 
this airborne blast-em-up. While it 
doesn’t offer complex strategies, some- 
times all you need is a little action. 


60 ATARI EXPLORER APRIL 1985 





Reviewed by Bill Kunkel 


Flak represents a type of computer 
game seen more and more infrequently 
in these days of “simulations” and 
“software experiences”: an unabashed 
arcade style shoot-em-up. Flak is ut- 
terly devoid of strategic nuances. It op- 


erates on a primal, kill-or-be-killed 


level reminiscent of a supercharged ac- 


tion coin-op game. It’s the sort of game 


that people play to see what comes 
next; it pretends at nothing more gran- 
diose than providing quite a few hours 
of basic, action-filled gaming. , 

For all its limitations Flak is one of the 
most entertaining new games around. 

Players begin with four aircraft, each 
armed and equipped with a sighting 
device a short distance from the craft’s 
nose. A bonus ship is acquired for 
every 10,000 points scored. After 
selecting one of two difficulty levels, 
the first ship is launched down a long, 
white runway. The ships must thereaf- 
ter be kept in the air, collecting points 
by obliterating ubiquitous anti-aircraft 
installations along the way. Not only 
does the player gain points this way, 
but direct hits also shut down the big 
ground guns and allow the jet to pro- 
gress unimpeded along this northerly- 
scrolling gauntlet. 

Like most arcade contests, Flak 
evokes its “gotta play” compulsion by 
creating in the player a fierce desire to 
reach the next of six distinctive ground 
installations. Action starts out over a 
serene-looking grassy plain where all 
hell breaks loose quite suddenly. The 
targets are a group of white ack-ack 
batteries, the larger featuring peekaboo 
roofing that slides open to reveal big 
guns. After surviving this challenge, 


the aircraft passes over a patch of trees 
into a real no-man’s land: an installa- 
tion protected by invisible gun im- 
placements. The only way to take out 
these babies is to follow the cannonfire 
to its source, which is easier said than 
done, particularly with bombs and 
deadly debris flying in all directions. 
Next are a pair of clustered, honey- 
comb-like fuel depots in sets of seven, 
followed by a second invisible gun 
deathtrap. Then a stretch of black 


buildings reminiscent of computer cir- 


cuits, all armed to the teeth. 

As this final scenario concludes, the 
player's ship passes over a patchwork 
of undefended boilerplate just prior to 
reaching the runway for round two. 

Some of the graphics here are quite 
impressive, particularly the clustered 
silos and blue pipelines. Nonetheless, 
the appeal of games like this is fairly | 
elusive. Flak is the sort of game that 
either grabs you or doesn’t, depending 
upon what you are looking for in a 
game. Fans of high-action, reflex- 
challenging contests should find it 
right up their alley. 


Flak designed by A. Marsily, programmed 
by Y. Lempereur (Funsoft, disk, 48K re- 
quired.) 





‘Whistler's 


Brother 


Reviewed by Tracie Foreman 


Its basic premise is cute, but this ac- 
tion game lacks the fine-tuned graphics 
and sound that can add spice to 
otherwise run-of-the-mill arcade-style 
games. While squared-off, monocol- 
ored graphics might have been the 
standard back in 1982, the visuals are 
not what you would expect. Broder- 
bund has a reputation for taking solid 
but imperfect programs and giving 
them that final professional touch. So 
what happened? 

_ The hero’s job is to retrace the steps 
of his absentminded brother, who 
managed to lose a caseful of valuable 
tools on an archaeological expedition. 
Whistler’s brother is so absorbed in his 
research that: he wanders around aim- 


lessly, oblivious to dangers like falling 
off platforms, flying arrows, and birds 
that bite. Whistler must not only collect 
as many tools as he can, but he also has 
to keep his brother close to his side and 
out of harm’s way. 

His errant brother can be called with 
a whistle, activated with the joystick 
button. By whistling at strategic mo- 
ments, the hero can keep his brother 
near enough to hear the next call. 


When both flashing tools on each 
level have been collected, Whistler can 
turn himself into a dervish, again with 
the help of the action button. The 
_ whirling form can wipe out enemies 
before they attack his brother, is pro- 
tected from most of the dangers in the 
game, and can build bridges across 
gaps simply by moving over them. 
After successfully accomplishing a task 
—such as leading Whistler’s brother 
safely to shore—the action proceeds to 
a new, more complicated screen. 


Speed is of the essence, with storm 
clouds constantly collecting overhead. 
A storm in full force hurls deadly light- 
ning down at the figures below, mak- 
ing it all the harder to complete the 
screen. One of the gamer’s five lives is 
lost each time Whistler or his brother 
meets a grizzly fate. 

The action may be cute, but it’s still 
hard to believe that designer Louis 
Ewens copyrighted the game as re- 
cently as 1984. Whistler and his brother 
are adequately drawn, though most 
players probably won’t know what the 
brother is doing without reading the in- 
structions. The rest of the graphics are 
1982 standard; a shame considering 
that Broderbund’s other releases have 
a reputation for excellent visuals and 
animation. The sound track fares a bit 
better, with several perky tunes to rep- 
resent whistles, and a convincing thun- 
der effect. | 

The play-action itself is about what 
you'd expect from an average arcade 
game. It’s entertaining, and there is 
some element of strategy, but there is 
nothing about the game that really 
makes you want to hit that RESET but- 
ton. The screens aren’t pretty or varied 
enough to provide incentive by them- 
selves, and they aren't all that challeng- 
ing to experienced joystick jockeys. 
With all the “cute” action games on the 
market, Whistler's Brother is just whis- 
tling in the dark. 


Whistler’s Brother’ by Louis Ewens 
(Broderbund, disk, 32K required) 


Serpent 
Star 


Reviewed by Arnie Katz 


Mac Steele, the hero of Mask of the 


Sun (Broderbund) is back on the home 


screen with another electronic exploit. 
Last time, the intrepid explorer braved 
the mysteries of ancient Mayan pyra- 
mids. This new adventure sends the 
globe-trotter to Tibet to find some an- 
cient scrolls and a titanic jewel, the Ser- 
pent Star, said to be worth $25 million 
smackers! 


Ultrasoft, the design studio that 
created Mask as well as several adven- 
tures published by Trillium, thrusts the 
player directly into the plot with a spe- 
cial introductory sequence. A pre-set 
series of text-and-graphics screens es- 
tablishes the setting and character 


- motivation. 


The Serpent Star is an illustrated ad- 
venture with some simple animated se- 
quences. Brief text is displayed at the 
bottom of each picture. The vocabulary 
is extensive enough to handle most 
situations, though the program can’t 


- entirely free the player from those frus- 


trating “guess the right word” sessions. 
The art work is simple, but attractive, 
and some of the animations are quite 
clever. A little less emphasis on watch- 
ing the scenery go past while riding or 
walking down roads would be ap- 
preciated, however. 


The story, as told by this introduc- 
tion, involves a case that didn’t turn out 
very well. The Tibetan government has 
confiscated a set of scrolls that arch- 





villain Francisco Roboff had stolen — 
from you some months past. Knowing 
that 10 of the 13 scrolls were kept in a 
locked case in the Potola, a palace lo- 
cated in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital city, you 
break into the room, bust open the case 
with a sword taken from a nearby wea- 
pons display, and snatch the scrolls. 
When the guards set up a hue and cry, 
you hotfoot it out the main gate of the 
city. : 

Mac Steele’s mission is to find the re- 
maining three scrolls and the Serpent 
Star that holds the ancient city of Kara- 
Koram in timeless immortality. 


Despite this flying start, the low level 
of excitement during the early going 
will displease many players. It’s frus- 
trating, after watching the introduction 
unreel at breakneck speed, to have to 
stop right outside Lhasa to buy provi- 
sions from a passing caravan. Since the 
camel train serves no other real pur- 
pose—and you can’t obtain any useful 
information from the tradesman—the 
game would have benefitted by having | 
Steele start with all necessary provi- 
sions. This part of the game is made all 
the more puzzling by the fact that 
Steele starts with some equipment like 
matches and a revolver. For Steele, that 
should be plenty! 


These types of inconsistencies crop 
up frequently during the course of the 
adventure. The program is forever 
scolding the computerist for doing 
things like not getting off the horse be- 
fore entering a building. Yet the adven- 
turer automatically remounts the horse 
after crossing a rickety bridge else- 
where. Why doesn’t the program as- 
sume that you dismount before enter- 
ing a building? Hmmm. 


Once the player buys supplies and 
gets into the adventure proper, there's 
quite a variety of encounters and situa- 
tions to work through on the way to 
locating the fabulous gem. Ultrasoft’s 
technical expertise still outshines the 
creativity of the content, but the gap is 
clearly narrowing. However, The Ser- 
pent Star is significantly more intri- 
guing than its predecessor and is dou- 
bly welcome because its theme is not 
found in games of this type as fre- 
quently as science fiction and fantasy | 
motifs. 


The Serpent Star designed by Ultrasoft 
(Broderbund, two double-sided disks, 48K 
required.) 

CONTINUED 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 61 


Guit Strike 


Reviewed by Arnie Katz 


The peace and safety of the world 
hangs by a slender thread. Any of to- 
day’s 40 or 50 little wars carries the po- 
tential for escalation. The most fright- 
ening scenario is one in which the 
“super powers” are dragged into direct 
confrontation. 

Gulf Strike, a one- or two-player sim- 
ulation based ona non-electronic board 
game, pits the super powers against 
one another in the “unthinkable” con- 
frontation. As the documentation ex- 
plains, the overthrow of the Shah, the 
interminable [Iran-Iraq war, the Soviet 
invasion of Afghanistan, and the U.S. 
development of its Rapid Deployment 
Force strategy are all ingredients poised 
to ignite the Persian Gulf region. This 
simulation covers a hypothetical war 
resulting from the area’s worsening 
political instability. The U.S.S.R. and 
Iraq square off against highly mobile 
U.S. forces that are supporting Iran and 
its minor allies. 

The battle is fought on a multi-screen 
map that covers the territory from the 
Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in the west 
to the eastern border of Iran, and from 
the southern half of the Caspian Sea to 
the northern coast of the Persian Gulf. 
Ground combat occurs primarily on 
Iranian soil with naval forces slugging 
it out in the Gulf. Even with joystick- 
activated scrolling, that’s a lot of terri- 
tory to monitor, so the publisher has in- 
cluded a full-color terrain map of the 
theater of operations. 

This program is clearly intended for 
those who cut their gaming teeth on 
hex-map board war games. Even with 
the computer handling all combat re- 
solution, and tracking the status of all 
participating units, don’t start here if 
youre a relatively new recruit to mili- 
tary simulations. Gulf Strike explores a 
fluid, confused situation which leaves 
many real-life generals scratching their 
heads. Designer Winchell Chung has 
done everything in his power to make 
this intricately detailed war game play 
smoothly—the computer edition of 
Gulf Strike takes about half as long to 

play as the conventional version—but 
it still rates an “intermediate” level of 
playing complexity. 

The U.S./Iran side begins the contest 
in possession of 21 Victory Point 


62 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 


squares (VPS), which must be de- 
fended against enemy attack. The bat- 
tle ends after 25 game-turns have 
elapsed or when the U.5S.S.R./lraq side 
captures 9 VPS, or if the participants 
call it quits. If one side fulfills the vic- 
tory conditions, the computer declares 
it the winner and calculates the degree 
of victory based on the number of 
enemy hit points eliminated, and 
bonuses relating to holding (U.S.) or 
capturing (U.S.S.R.) the vital squares. 

The joystick controls all aspects of 
play. A commander simply positions 
the on-screen cursor over a group of 
friendly units and presses the action 
button to check status, alter formation, 
or dictate movement. A window lo- 
cated below the map displays vital 
statistics for units, and prompts the 
commander for orders. The player can 
move an entire group at one time if de- 
sired. 

Each turn, equivalent to two days of 
actual warfare, proceeds in phases 
with prompts leading players through 
the routine. A press of the START key 
moves from one phase to the next. 





Although the lines don’t appear on 
the screen, the entire map is divided 
into 28-by-28 kilometer squares. When 
a general orders a unit to move, blue 
squares appear adjacent to it in every 
direction in which it can legally travel. 
Troops advance square by square in 
this manner, spending the turn’s sup- 
ply of movement points according to 
the terrain traversed. 

The rule book is a far cry from the 
skimpy folders often included with 
even the most complicated computer 
strategy games. Not only are the rules 
thoroughly and logically explained, 
but supplementary sections delve into 
such topics as orders of battle for the 
countries involved, and a rundown of 


the weaponry expected to be used ina 
Persian Gulf war. 

Gulf Strike is so plausible that it is 
educational as well as mentally stimu- 
lating. Anyone who delves into this ab- 
sorbing “what if” scenario must come 
away with some sobering thoughts on 
the possible results of international 
brinksmanship, as well as the satisfac- 
tion derived from playing an excellent 
computer simulation. i 


Gulf Strike (The Avalon Hill Game Com- 
pany, disk, 48K required.) 


The Party 
Quiz Game 


Reviewed by Joyce Worley 


Trivia lovers have a treat in store with 
PQ — The Party Quiz Game. This fast- 
paced contest lets up to four players 


- compete in a scramble for points, as the 


computer .presents rapid-fire ques- 
tions. Best of all, the game comes com- 
plete with four special “quick re- 
sponse” controllers so players can sit 
comfortably around the room instead 
of huddling over the console. 

The controllers are super-easy to in- 
stall. A double-ended connector cable 
plugs into the two joystick ports. The 
other end mates with an interface box 
that receives the four controllers. Each 
controller boasts about five feet of cord, 
and the interface connection has 
another six feet, so gamers can sit all 
the way across the room from the com- 
puter, and still enter their answers in: 
comfort. : | 

After choosing the number of players 
(1-4), the response time (3, 4, 5 or 10 
seconds), and the number of rounds to 
make up a game (5, 8, 12, 16 or 20), the 
gamers select competitive or social play 
mode. In the competitive mode all 
players compete simultaneously to an- 
swer the question flashed on the 
screen, and the first correct response 
wins all the points. In social mode, all 
players can attempt a reply. All correct 
answers score, but the first to respond 
gets more points. : 

When some real trivia whizzes join 
in the game, PQ provides a way to even 
the odds. It handicaps expert players 

CONTINUED ON 64 


REVIEWS 


HomePak, a Multi-use Program 


from Batteries Included 


hen Batteries Included 
made HomePak, the new 
word processing-data base- 
telecommunications pro- 
gram for Atari users, they 
took not just a user-friendly, but a user- 
intimate approach. They bundled three 
popular applications on one disk, 
wrote a good manual with some clever 
gimmicks (described below) and didn’t 
copy protect the programs. 

~ dhe: $49.95. .price. is.*perhaps...the 
friendliest we’ve seen so far for this 
computing power. The programs are 
not unlimited in features, but there are 
definitely enough for all home uses. 
Best of all, a great deal of thought has 
been devoted to structuring the pro- 
grams along the thought patterns of 
the user. 

The programs are all menu driven. 
The HomePak disk boots up to a screen 
that displays the titles of the three pro- 
grams. When you choose Homelext, 
the word processor, you work with 





menus that control formatting, text 


moving, and file handling. In Home- 
Find, the database, there is one menu 
for creating merge files and another for 


file handling. In the telecommunica- 


tions program, Homelerm, there are 
separate menus for transmission and 
file handling. The three component 


programs are reviewed more _ thor- 


oughly below. 


HomeText 


The Homelext program is Home- 
Pak’s word processor. It offers all the 
usual features—automatic margins, 
block moving capability, search and re- 
place, a choice of insert/replace modes 
and formatting commands such as 
right justification, headers and footers, 
and the ability to link files together for 
printout. This last feature is important 


by PR. Adler 


since the maxium length of a Homelext 
file is quite short—6620 characters, 
which works out to only 3 single- 
spaced pages. This is enough for home 


use, but other competitive programs. 


exist that offer more capacity. Atari- 
Writer, for example, holds about 10 dou- 
ble-spaced pages. | 

HomelText’s menus are accessed by 
pressing console keys on the Atari. Two 
of the menus just roll down over the 
text you are working on, which is dis- 
concerting, but easily remedied by 
pressing RETURN. The HomelText 
commands are easy to use since most 
just require an input of Y or N. A car- 
riage return will return you to your text 
from anywhere in the menus. 

A particularly nice feature of Home- 
Text is the way you can use it with in- 
formation stored in HomeFind, the 
data base. You can merge one record at 
a time into your text from the data base 
file, which makes mass mailings easy. 


To merge data you use the Functions 


menu to name the HomeFind file you 
want to access, then use the Format 
menu to plant a HomeFind “token.” 
The token reserves a blank space in 
your text for words that are inserted 
from the data base. 

By planting tokens you can read one 
record after another into your docu- 
ment while printing. 


HomeFind 


HomeFind is HomePak’s data base 
manager. It is the successor to Whatsit, 
one of the first personal computer data 
base programs. HomeFind is a rela- 
tional database, which is very different 
from record-oriented data bases. 

In record-oriented data bases a set of 
electronic file cards is stored on disk. 
The program formats, opens for data 
entry, and closes these records. For ex- 





ample, there might be a file called “cus- 
tomers,” with names, addresses, sales- 
men and their commissions, and 
phone numbers in it. This data can be 
printed and sorted a variety of ways: 
by salesmen, by state, ZIP code, or 
whatever. However, the data in 
another file cannot be accessed without 
closing the current file and opening a 
new one. 

HomeFind does not maintain any 
files or records. It works on the Subject- 
Tag-Object system. This can be thought 
of as the person, his desire, and the ob- 
ject of his desire. Since there are no 
structured files, there are no restric- 
tions on the way data can be accessed, 
and there are only two restrictions on 
the way data is entered. All entries 
must have a subject, a tag, and an ob- 
ject or list of objects, and the subject 
and tag must include apostrophes. For 
example, when drawing up a Christ- 
mas list, you only have to type in 
“Susan's present’s a scarf,” “Nancy’s 
present’s a shirt,” “Gwendolyn’s pre- 
sent’s a scarf,” and so on. Then, you can 
type in any of the girls’ names and find 
out what they’re getting, or the word 
“scarf” to see whose getting a scarf, or 
the word “present,” for the whole list. 

This format makes organized data | 
entry unnecessary. You can enter a 
Christmas list, accounts payable, or ad- 
dresses of your friends at the same sit- 
ting, as the ideas occur to you. If you 
enter different types of data on the 
same person, you can access all the rel- 
evant information just by typing their 
name. If you repeat tags, the program 
prompts you with cheerful, conversa- 
tional comments. You can make 
changes easily, and lists of objects are 
no problem. “Objects” refers to object 
of the subject and “tag” is the entry in 
HomeFind. Anything at all can be an 

CONTINUED 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 63 


64 


object. HomeFind does not read its en- 
tries, it just moves them around. 

Lists comprise the merge files men- 
tioned above. Once the user gets the 
hang of them, they are easy to create 
and use. Again, two menus must be ac- 
cessed to create a merge file, and the 
user must switch disks. It is here that 
the problems with HomeFind, and 
HomePak in particular, become ap- 
parent. 


Error Handling 


The dark side of HomePak comes out 
when you use peripherals with Home- 
Find. It is user fair-weather friendly. If 
you make a disk handling mistake error 
codes are displayed on the screen with 
no explanation. Neither the program 
nor the manual explains common er- 
rors that can occur when you remove 
the disk before the drive stops whir- 
ring, or if you send a print command to 
a turned off printer. Nowhere in the 
documentation is there an appendix 
listing the disk error codes. Having 
such an appendix would be most help- 
ful. Not having an appendix, or any 
sort of clue as to what went wrong, can 
make using HomePak’s advanced fea- 
tures frustrating. 

In HomeFind, the most serious error 
you can make is inserting a new disk 
without going through the protocol re- 
quired. Not only will you lose your 
data, you will destroy the data on the 
disk permanently. But the manual is 
explicit on this point! 

Most errors arise when you use the 
more advanced features of the word 
processor. Print previewing long files is 
the worst offender. 


HomeTerm 


The third program in HomePak is 
Homelerm, the telecommunications 
program. All computers need a pro- 
gram like this to run with their mo- 
dems, and Homelerm is not a bad one. 
As in the rest of HomePak, the empha- 
sis is on the user’s basic needs, with 
some nice touches thrown in. 

Homelerm will work with Atari, 
Hayes, and MPP modems. For upload- 
ing and downloading files, Homelerm 
handles ASCII, ATASCH, and XMO- 
DEM protocol. It has a 7000-character 
buffer, and boasts a file editing menu 
you can use while you are hooked up. 
The functions menu lets you customize 


ATARI EXPLORER . APRIL 1985 


the terminal for different modem mod- 
els. 

One very useful feature of Home- 
Term is its offline text editor—a win- 
dow that appears at the bottom of the 
screen where you can edit your com- 
munications before you send them. The 
window will hold up to 120 characters, 
and send the text through the modem 
when you press RETURN. Another 
useful feature is the storable macros. 
These are combinations of keystrokes 
that you store on a data disk to enable 
you to dial and sign on to a distant ter- 
minal with just one keystroke. With a 
bit of fancy usage you can store as 
many as 700 keystrokes. The macro 
waits for prompts from the distant ter- 
minal. 


Documentation 


The HomePak manual is clever. It is 
a top-bound spiral book; the back cover 
fits into a slot in the packaging and 
folds up to form a stand that holds the 
book upright. This makes it very easy 
to keep the book open while you work 
with the programs, and lets you easily 
flip to your area of interest. This is 
necessary, since the documentation is 
extremely terse. | 

The organization of HomePak’s 
menu screen functions is something 
that the user must take out of context. 





Party Quiz Game 


CONTINUED FROM 62 






sponse time of the other players. 





by allowing them only half the re- 





Each round consists of ten multiple 
choice questions. A countdown-bar 
acress the bottom of the screen shows 
how much time is left for each ques- 
tion, and displays the points for correct 
replies. The faster the response, the 
higher the point total won—multiple 
choice questions count down from 1000 
points, and true/false “stumpers” start 
at 500 points. Players select the correct 
response by pressing the appropriate 
key on the controller, then the com- 
puter displays the correct answer and 
takes care of tallying the score. Special 
Lightning Bonus Rounds 4, 7, 11, 15, and 
19 feature a high speed bombardment 
of questions during which the com- 
puter gives each player in rotation 20 





Often, the function indicated is part of 
a menu that is accessed by a console 
key that has not been explicitly stated 
by the manual. In other words, all the 
information is there, but it is not plainly 
stated. There are no reference cards, 
but the three programs all have “quick 
reference guides.” 

HomePak is aimed at beginners. If a 


beginner reads the manual from the be- 


ginning, takes notes, and follows all 
the instruction carefully, he or she can 
use Homelext and HomeFind almost 
immediately. 

The Homelerm section is very well 
done, and is ideal for someone who is 
new to telecommunications. Technical 
concepts such as duplex, baud rate are 


well explained. The manual’s appendix 


on CompuServe’s Atari SIG (Special In- 
terest Group) is an excellent touch. Per- 
haps with the help of friends on the 
SIG, the new user can get enough tips 
to use HomePak to its fullest. 
HomePak is a very reasonably priced 
package with most of the features a 
home user will ever.need. If a beginner 
buys HomePak, and takes the time to 
learn all of its functions, he or she could 
end up with a very good working 
knowledge of not only the use of 
Homelext, HomeFind, and Home- 


Term, but the sets of principles of file 
handling, text editing, and telecom- 
munications. N 


seconds to answer up to ten questions. 

Every two rounds, the computer pre- 
pares a report card displaying each 
player’s score, with a cryptic comment | 
on how well that player has done. At 
the end of the game, a Dean's List re- 
cords the initials of the top ten scorers 
in that play session. 

PQ comes with the controllers, all 
necessary connector cables, and two 
disks that contain the program plus 
roughly 2500 questions. The game is a 
real party maker; the ease of play lends 
itself to social occasions (where larger 
groups can compete in teams), and the 
Quick Response Controllers add to the fun 
by ending the problem of. keyboard 
typing errors. 


PQ—The Party Quiz Game, includes 
Controllers (Suncom, two disks, 32K re- 
quired.) A 









REVIEWS 


Two New Books 


Keviewed by David Duberman 





f you are like many Atari home 
computer users, you bought your 
computer because it’s so versatile. 
After you use it to write a letter or 
an essay, you can relax and have 
fun with a video game or improve your 
mind with an educational program— 
all on the same machine. But that’s by 


no means all your Atari computer can ~ 


do. Your computer's potential is limited 
only by your imagination and your 
mastery of the machine. Atari comput- 
ers are the friendliest and most flexible 
home computers available, so it’s nice 
to see new books that take advantage 
of this fact to present a wealth of new 
and interesting programming ideas 
and applications. 


101 Programming 
Surprises and Tricks for 
Your Atari Computer 


101 Programming Surprises and Tricks 
for your Atari Computer by David L. 
Heiserman actually does contain 101 


full-fledged programs, although some 
do as little as scrambling a word you 
type into the computer. Packing so 
many programs into 196 pages leaves 
little leeway for complexity, but short 
as they are, most of the programs pose 
a certain charm. Many users will con- 
sider the fun they provide a nice en- 
hancement to other computer uses, 
and may even learn a clever trick or two 
for incorporation into future efforts. 
One good thing about short pro- 
grams is that they are easy to type in 
and debug. And when they've well 
written, as are most of these, they can 
pack a lot of fun into just one or two 
kilobytes of program space. Here are a 
few sample titles: Dungeon Character 
Generator creates armies of characters 
for fantasy role-players. Surrogate Cuss- 
er, a much-needed tool in combatting 
computer frustration, delivers such 
pithy epithets as “jerk” and “moron” to 


a named enemy or to no one in particu-_ 


lar. And for a tool no city editor should 
be without, Headline Generator cooks up 
such items as “Mouse Beats Up House” 
and “Elephant Shoots Self.” You can 
even enter lists of your own words for 
the computer to play with. 

Some programs are variations on 





preceding listings, as in Blackjack and 
Fair Blackjack, Russian Roulette and Fair 
Russian Roulette, Roach Race and Roach 
Race Plus. Some programs are pretty 
dumb, such as Adventure Revisited in 
which you have no choice but to die as 
soon as you start. Use of fancy graphics 
in most programs is minimal, which 
helps keep the length down. 3 

101 Programming Surprises and Tricks 

. 1s 98% program listings. Explana- 
tory text is kept to an absolute mini- 
mum, which implies that the book is 
intended primarily for those who have 
achieved more than a passing familiar- 
ity with the BASIC language. Fortun- 
ately, the programs are short and 
straightforward and don’t use any ma- 
chine language, so they are relatively 
easy to analyze and understand. In- 
stead of documenting the programs, 
the author has added a light, entertain- 
ing touch by printing short whimsical 
quotations at the top of each listing. 
The quote for the chase game Wumpus 
is Elmer Fudd’s classic “Stand still you 
wascal wabbit!,”, while Bugs Bunny 
himself gets to speak for the sequel, 
Super Wumpus “Eh-h-h. Catch me if you 
can!” Other quotations range in nature 
from the ridiculous to the sublime, and 
many are sure to make you chuckle. 
The book costs $11.50, and you can 
send for a $21 diskette, containing all of 
the programs in machine-readable 
form. 


Mastering Your Atari™ 
Through Eight BASIC Projects 


Mastering Your Atari™ Through Eight 
BASIC Projects, published by the late 
MICRO magazine, is a horse of an en- 
tirely different color. Instead of over- 
whelming the reader with programs, 
this book takes a methodical tutorial 
approach that is better suited for begin- 

CONTINUED 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 65 


ners and those wishing to learn more 
about different applications and how 
they work. Programs include Micro 
Calc, a mini-spreadsheet; Master, a one- 
or-two-player version of the classic 
guessing game Master Mind; and Atari 
Clock, a full-screen digital timepiece. 
There’s also Word Detective, in which 
you try to determine the computer's 
rule for accepting or rejecting words 
and Sorting, which includes graphic 
and practical demonstrations of vari- 
ous methods of sorting lists. Breakup is 
a version of Steve Wozniak’s classic 
Breakout game, playable with paddles 
or the keyboard, and Atari Player is a 
nifty “keyboard-organ” program that 
lets you edit your tunes note-by-note, 
and save and load them with a disk 
drive. Last but not least, Programmable 
Characters shows you how to exploit 
Atari computer's redefinable character 
set for full graphic flexibility. 

A disk containing all eight programs 
is included to spare the reader the time- 
consuming chore of entering and cor- 
recting them. Each program merits its 
own chapter, which starts out with in- 
structions for using the program. Fol- 
lowing this is a section on program- 
ming concepts explaining the various 
techniques employed. Specific exam- 
ples from the program are pointed out. 
You don’t have to refer to the full listing 
at the end of the chapter for these; 
thankfully, the relevant program lines 
are reprinted in the text. Next, a line- 
by-line program description or “take- 
apart” is provided for those who want 
to know exactly how the program 
works every step of the way. However, 
this doesn’t extend to the machine-lan- 
guage routines used to move the 
Player-Missile Graphics in Breakup. 

Mastering your Atari. . . is an excel- 
lent book for those who have taken a 
beginning BASIC course, have typed in 
some programs, and are curious to 
learn how they work. Despite a few 
minor errors, such as spelling the word 
mnemonics “New Monics” in a discus- 
sion of machine language, overall qual- 
ity of both the text and programs is very 
high. The additional editorial space 
permitted by the book format (com- 
pared to magazine articles) has been 
well utilized by the authors, who pro- 
vide extensive pictorial and chart infor- 
mation to supplement the text. We 
highly recommend this book for those 
readers who require a stepping stone 
from beginning to intermediate BASIC 
programming. 


66 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 





LOGO AIDE 


Reviewed by Joan Delfino 


Teachers, take note! At last there’s a 
practical, well-organized, and creative 
computer book designed for classroom 
use. Logo Aide by Barry Hoglund is an 
excellent guide for teaching computer 
programming to elementary school 
children. Using Logo’s colorful turtle 
graphics and simple commands, this 
book has a wide range of application 
for children from kindergarten through 
eighth grade. 

Aspiring programmers will find a 
wealth of material to stimulate their 
creativity. Logo Aide consists of seven 
phases, or chapters. The initial chap- 
ters of the book are geared to begin- 
ners, particularly students in the pri- 
mary grades. Phases one and two in- 
troduce Logo’s primitives—simple 
commands designed to reinforce the 
basic concepts of computer program- 
ming. These primitives are ideal for 
young children. Students learn to view 
the screen from the turtle’s vantage 
point as they direct it around the 
screen. They find, for example, that the 
right turn command results in the tur- 
tle’s turning to its right, not necessarily 


to the right of the screen. The screen 
dimensions ‘soon become obvious 
when the turtle takes too many “steps” 
and disappears. The author stresses 
the importance of allowing students. 
ample time to experiment with simple 
commands, as Logo Aide builds on the 
fundamental primitives throughout the 
book. 

When they have mastered primitives, 
students progress to phase three to con- 
tend with multiple turtles. As this may 
cause considerable confusion among 
the students, Hoglund suggests that 
students physically act out the com- 
mands they have written for the tur-_ 
tles, and then see if their actions are 


duplicated by the computer. 


Successive chapters address the con- 
cepts of procedures, variables, and pro- 
gramming. Enthusiastic, young pro- 
grammers can test their newly-ac- 
quired skills by using several variables 
in conjunction with loops. The rotat- 
ing, geometric designs that result at 
this level can be quite rewarding. My 
nine-year-old son found this section, 
with its 3-D designs, to be challenging 
as well as very entertaining. 

The final phase includes a project 
planning guide that should be very 
useful to both students and teachers. 
The format is comprehensive and con- 
cise. Students in grades four through 
eight will find it very helpful when de- 
signing their own computer graphics. 

Logo Aide has a number of academic- 
ally oriented features that will appeal 
to teachers. Each chapter has a detailed 
teaching guide with practical sugges- 


_ tions for enhancing the learning experi- 


ence at all levels. Interesting exercises 
are included to reinforce the concep- 
tual material of each chapter. Primitives 
and commands are printed in large, 
boldface type—ideal for duplication. 
Hoglund, a former teacher, recognizes 
the advantages of hand-outs for stu- 
dents, and so he gives teachers the 
right to copy the material for their class- 
room use. 

Teachers and students will thor- 
oughly enjoy using Logo Aide as a re- 
source book in their computer class- 
rooms. It will enable students to de- 
velop their computer skills in fun-filled 
and interesting ways and it will give 
them the confidence to stretch their 
“wings” in new and exciting directions. 


Logo Aide ts available from August Publi- 
cations: POLS Bor 67 san WKafael, {CA 
94915, or call (415) 454-7772. 








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Atari Wins Big 
at CES 


CONTINUED FROM 80 


Mr. and Mrs. Steven Jones, owners 
of DeBug Bytes computers in Indiana, 
Pennsylvania, were delighted with the 
exhibit. “I’ve always thought Atari had 
good products but I’m impressed with 
what they’ve brought out now.” The 
Jones’ were pleased at the amount of 


software shown for the 800XL, and. 


XEs. “I think Atari is wise to get an 
image of more than a computer games 
company,” he said. 


Don’t Forget those 
Peripherals! 


The new computers were supported 
by a full line of quality low-cost printers 
and monitors. Eventually, Atari in- 
tends to market them for other manu- 
facturers’ PC’s. Russ Wetmore of Bat- 
teries Included, who wrote HomePak, 
mentioned the new 80-column monitor 
(at $150) as a welcome new arrival to 
the field. The new printers had their 
admirers, too. Marty Katz, a freelance 
photographer, snapped an interesting 
photo. “There were a bunch of guys 
from Olivetti gathered around the color 
printer,” he said. “They were all point- 
ing at it and wringing their hands.” 


A Look at the Atari Booth 


The booth was set up in a square 
with a wide traffic lane running diago- 
nally through it. In the left corner of the 
square, two walls of over 60 video 


monitors showed programs in action 


while demonstrators put various Atari 
models through their paces. The right 
corner was glassed off and divided into 
two separate rooms, one for the ST ma- 
chines, and one completely lined with 
software for the XE line. 

Four pavilions were placed in the 
middle of the traffic lane, one each for 
the 65XE, 130XE, 520ST and 130ST, 
complete with informative brochures 
and peripherals. Another information 
station stood behind the video wall. 
Two additional outside walls displayed 


* 68 ATARI EXPLORER APRIL 1985 


Atari 2600s in action, and AtariSoft’s 
software. 


“Demo-itis” is symptomatic of two of 
Murphy’s Laws: “Bugs emerge fast 
when someone else is watching,” and, 
“the severity of the bugs is in direct 
proportion to the importance of the 
people watching the demonstration.” 
The whole world was watching Atari at 
this CES. Trade shows are notorious for 
making new machines crash, but ST 
and XE reliability proved to be excel- 
lent. The machines were up from 8:00 
a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day, and not a 
single bug appeared. Seven bug-free 
STs were brought to the show, and 
seven bug-free STs came back. 


From Atari Software to 
AtariSoft | 


Another important introduction at 
the show was the new AtariSoft. Atari- 
Soft now publishes software for Atari 
machines, a wider scope of operations 
than the old AtariSoft that started in 
1983 and only released software for 
other brands of computers. 

The new AtariSoft brought more 
than fun and games to the show. Four 
productivity programs and three edu- 
cational programs were introduced at 
CES! AtariWriter Plus, Silent Butler, Atari 


Proofreader, and Infinity were among the — 


new line of business and productivity 
software. The educational programs 
introduced included Music Painter, The 
Learning Phone, and AtariLab Light Mod- 
ule. Hundreds of existing programs 
were also showcased in the XE room, 
on the software “wall.” 

AtariSoft personnel had their hands 
full at the show, making contact with 
developers who wanted to write soft- 
ware. “I’ve never had such a good 
show for business,’ said Sigmund 
Hartmann, president of AtariSoft. 
“We've spoken to jillions of people.” 

Software developers were excited 
about the STs. “We feel that they are 
very interesting machines,” said Robert 
Botch, Director of Marketing for Epyx 
software. “All our programmers have 
seen the hardware and they are breath- 
lessly awaiting the chance to write new 
software.” Ken Wasch, Executive Direc- 
tor of the Software Publisher’s Associa- 
tion, dubbed the ST “a winner.” He pre- 
dicted a very healthy developer and 
software publisher response. 


There were two reasons for this large 
response: the power and price of the 
ST machines and renewed faith in 8-bit 
Atari products. According to Bob 
Lindsey, a creative director for Epyx, 
“The ST products are for all those folks 
who have been waiting for and want- 
ing a “Mac” type computer (Apple’s 
Macintosh computer). Atari's pricing 
and the machine’s capabilities have 
opened up this market.” 

“I have been getting tremendous re- 
sponse from developers outside the 
U.S. who are interested in writing soft- 
ware for the 800XL and the 65XE,” said 
Atari’s Hartmann after the show. 


Reaching Out to 
Developers 


U.S. developer interest was so high 
that 400 software developers and 100 
press representatives attended Jack 
Tramiel’s address to the Software Pub- 
lishers Association (SPA). The SPA‘s 
executive director, Ken Wasch, de- 
scribed the Atari booth and its chair- 
man’s speech before his organization as 
“the event of the Winter CES.” Atari is a 
member of the Software Publishers As- 
sociation, and the other members, who 
are major developers of programs, re- 
sponded positively to the address. 

Tramiel first described his activities 
since he left Commodore and the evo- 
lution of his concepts of a new genera- 
tion of affordable technology. He let the 
crowd in on the real reason for his 
going back into the computer business. 
“IT was in Japan,” he said, “and every- 
one I was talking to was smiling. They 
were thinking ‘now Jack’s out of com- 
puters, it’s time to go into the U.S!” 

“Jack Tramiel’s enthusiasm was con- 
tagious,” Wasch said. “A broad range of 
software publishers and developers 
want the machines to succeed. If Atari 
fulfills Jack’s promises, and _ pre-re- 
leases machines to these software pub- 
lishers, I think they’d be crazy not to 
take the bait.” 


The Changing Image 


An important turning point for Atari 
took place at this January’s CES. Con- | 
fidence in the future was restored. R. 
Barry Shatwell, advertising director for 
Timeworks, a software company that 
publishes The Money Manager, the Elec- 
tronic Checkbook, and the Data Manager, 
summed it up. “The Atari booth had 
more traffic than any other booth, and 


there was an aura of ‘hmm, these are 


Tuy 


going to do it. 


20-hour Shifts and a Visit 
from Santa Claus 


Cutting-edge technology may look 
like magic, but a lot of hard work went 
into producing all the new models. A 
company observer stated: “I would say 
good night to some of these guys on 
my way home and then they would say 
good night to me as I came back from 
lunch the next day. Then they’d be in 
by 6:00 that evening.” 

Atari employees were behind the 
new machines all the way. “We had a 
Christmas party,” said Sam Tramiel, the 
president of Atari. “Santa Claus made 
me sit on his lap and asked me what I 
wanted for Christmas. I told him ‘I 
want GEM in color’ Sure enough, the 
next day, GEM came up in color.” 


International Splash 


Representatives from Atari's five in- 
ternational subsidiaries, headquartered 
in Germany, France, Italy, the U.K. and 
Holland were enthusiastic about Atari's 
new products and CES display. “In 
Atari Europe we have a games image. | 
think that this exhibition was the first 
step to gain credibility,” said Irma Ober- 
steiner, Business Manager for Atari 
Germany. Massimo Ruossi, the Euro- 
pean General Manager, was even more 
positive. “I think Hanover [the Hanover 
Industrial Fair held in Germany in 
April] will be just like this,” he said. 


So Much in Six Months 


Domestic and foreign retailers and 
distributors expressed surprise at what 
the new Atari had accomplished. 
Claude Nahum, director of Atari’s in- 
ternational distribution, spoke to buy- 
ers and distributors from 18 countries, 
including Spain, Greece, Kuwait, Indo- 
nesia, Scandinavia, and several Latin 
American countries. 

“They all came to see what was hap- 
pening with Atari and the new line of 
product,” Nahum said. “These people 


had done business with the company 


before, and were amazed at what was 
accomplished in 6 months. Now 
they’ve seen that the new Atari and 
new Atari product line are for real! 
Now their biggest frustration is waiting 
to get their hands on it.” A 


SUN RC 


New 

Spare Parts 
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800/400/810 


Replacement Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) w/parts 

800 Main ... $25 400 Main ... $20 810side .... $50 
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CPU w/GTIA. $20 16K RAM ... $20 810 Analog .. $20 
Used CPU .. $15 10KOS.. $15 810 Power... $25 
Power Paks 800/810 $20ea 800XL ...:. $30ea 
Limited quantity used 800 cases & cast shields $40 ea 


Hard to find Integrated Circuits $5. each 

On CPU: GTIA, ANTIC, CTIA, CPU 6502, CPU 6511 
On 10K OS: Math ROM 399B, OS ROMs 499B & 599B 
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800 PCB Sets 
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Special “De Re Atari” 

Field Service Manuals 800/400, 800XL or 810 $25. ea 

For 1050 or 1200XL $20 ea For 410 or 835 $15. ea 
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Happy Upgrades, 800, 800XL, 810, 1050, 1030 $CALL 
Books, Modems, Monitors, Printers, Joysticks $CALL 
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Software by SSI, OSS, Synapse, LJK, Ataris ETC. 
Atari,800/400 Technical Reference Notes $20. 

Pilot, Basic, Microsoft Il, Assembler Manuals $5. ea 





Sa USA) 








CONTINUED FROM 5 

adds italics.) If you write in a foreign 
language, you should be pleased to 
know that both the XMM801 and 
SMM804 offer the Atari international 
character set. 


Column width is programmable up 
to 132 print positions across, meaning 
that you can print up to 132 characters 
ona single line. The page length is vari- 
able, and so is the spacing between 
printed lines. 


Among the other features of these 
two printers is a_ fully-featured, 
straightforward control panel with 
three indicators (Power; No paper—to 
alert you when the paper is out—and 
On Line) and three functions: On Line, 
to switch the printer on- and off-line; 
Line Feed, to advance the paper a line 
at a time; and Form Feed, to advance 
the paper an entire page length. The 
Form Feed button is especially. handy 
for bringing your completed work out 
of the printer. 


Both printers possess full dot-ad- 
dressable graphics capability. The 
XMM801 has two graphics modes: nor- 
mal-density (480 dot. columns across) 
and high-density (960 horizontal dot 
columns). The normal-density graphics 
mode is Epson-compatible. With the 
right software, you can transfer de- 
signs and pictures from the computer’s 
video display screen to the printer. Or 
you can create programs that generate 
graphics directly from the printer. 


The SMM804's graphics function was 
uniquely designed with the ST Com- 
puters’ hi-res graphics capability in 
mind. The printer’s graphics mode 
prints a fantastically dense 1280 dot col- 
umns across (same as the Apple Image- 
writer but at less than half the price). 
The graphics package included with 
the ST Computers enables a direct 
_transfer of images, pictures and de- 
signs to the SMM804. 


The XMM801 is compatible with the 
AtariWriter word processor, as well as 
all other applications programs that 
support Atari 8-bit computers and 
printers. The SMM804 has been de- 
signed for Epson-compatability (except 
the graphics mode), and therefore sup- 
ports major word processing programs 
that run on the Atari ST or IBM and 
compatible Personal Computers and 
feature an Epson (virtually an industry 
standard) printer driver. 


70 ATARI EXPLORER APRIL 1985 


TEST 


H 114 


G 
nee Ml > 


J 12n 


An XMM801 graphics screen dump. 


COMmaer 1:0 


eo nd a oy, 


F 64 
FE 64 


h, we 
C 4a 


ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPORSTUVWXYZ 
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 
Ob232456 7891" #S26 CU) <> ees + 


ee 


Boldface 


Underlining 


2 


E=mc 


H5O 


Wea Y tea b le 


The XDM121 and SOM124— letter perfect. 


The Atari XTM201 and 
X1TC201 Dot Matrix Thermal 
Transfer Printers 


Both the XTC201 and the XTM201 are 
for use with the Atari 8-bit computers. 
As far as the hardware goes, the print- 
ers are nearly identical. The difference 
is that the XTM is a monochrome print- 
er, whereas the XTC can print in color. 


Poe woo 


P\s2T ee 


HP aL ages, Ia) 





They each take up incredibly little 
desk space. Very cute! 

The printers employ the latest in 
thermal printing technology. The print 
head consists of eight film resistor nibs. 
The nibs heat spots on the ribbon, thus 
melting and transferring those spots 
onto the paper. You can use either plain 
paper or thermal paper, which is a nice 
option since thermal paper is both ex- 
pensive and sometimes hard to find. 


View Options 


en 
MA bytes used in @ files. 


e1eTe4 bytes used in li files. 


a yateme bo 


AF ULDER GEMLUS SRL GIR DESELACH. 


eS 


GEMM 


You can transfer ST Computer graphics directly to the SMM804. 


TESTI 


Pe 
wa 
Saowwuvanaeawna om & 








ABCobDEFGHI.TI!S K LA a DO 


An XMM801 graphics printout. 


(For plain paper, Xerox 4024 or an 
equivalent is recommended because of 
its smooth surface.) They each feed 
single-sheets and have ribbon-end and 
paper-out sensors. 

Using plain paper, the printers em- 
ploy a small ribbon cassette. The 
XTC201, for color printing, uses a color 
ribbon cassette. The color cassette is 
composed of three colors: yellow, cyan, 
and magenta. Combinations of these 


three, using multiple passes of the 
print head, produce a rainbow of other 
color sein. 

Again, the software support is excel- 
lent, The: painters have. been: e1gi- 
neered for compatability with Atari- 
Writer, as well as with applications 
programs for use with Atari 8-bit com- 
puters and printers. 

The normal-density graphics mode 
is Epson-compatible, so any screen- 


dump program that dumps to an Epson 
printer in normal-density graphics 
(and works with an Atari 8-bit comput- 
er) will work with the XTM201 (and 
XTC201). 


Both printers print at 20 characters 
per second, which isn’t going to break 
any printing speed records. Nonethe- 
less, for the person desiring good print 
quality at a bargain price, the XTM201 
is the right machine. 


The XTC, at its rock bottom price, is 
the most impressive color printer I’ve 
seen to date. In my opinion (and I 
know printers), the XTC’s color quality 
has the low-priced ink-jet printers beat 
hands down. There is virtually no con- 
Lest. 


The Atari STC504 
Thermal Transfer 
Color Graphics Printer 


The Atari STC504 Printer is a thermal 
transfer printer that is fast (50 charac- 
ters per second) and can print mono- 
chrome (black) or color characters and 
images. 

The printer accepts single sheets of 
thermal paper or plain paper (Xerox 
4024 or equivalent). The machine has 
both ribbon-end and paper-out sen- 
SOrs. 

The STC504 is fully featured, provid- 
ing an incredible assortment of fonts, 
print styles, and formatting functions. 
Pica and elite, bold print, underlining, 
and subscripts and superscripts are all 
there. Five line spacing options, in- 
cluding one variable in increments of 
1/144 inch, maximize the printer’s ver- 
satility. International characters are 
also featured. | 

The graphics mode is high-density, 
complementing the hi-res ST screen 
format. With the ST graphics package, 
you can transfer color (or mono- 
chrome) graphic images directly from 
the ST computer. A whopping 16 colors 
are--available to you®using»the? ST 
graphics dump. The color quality is, 
without qualification, excellent. 

As with the other 16-bit printers, the 
STC504 has been engineered for com- 
patibility with major word processing 
programs. Low-priced and fully-fea- 
tured, it’s the machine to buy for those 
desiring both all-around performance 


and remarkable color graphics capa- 


bility. A 


APRIL 1985 ATARI EXPLORER 7 


USERS GROUPS 


= Se 


72 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 


CONTINUED FROM 57 


SOUTH CAROLINA 


GREENVILLE REGIONAL ATARI 
COMP ENTHUS 

508 Butler Spring Road 
Greenville, SC 29615 


ATARI MICRO COMPUTER USERS’ 
GROUP 

201-B Robinhood C?~cle 

Union, SC 29379 


MIDLANDS ATARI COMPUTER 
CLUB 

1525 Bull Street 

Columbia, SC 29201 


SHAW A.C.E. 
585-B White Oak Street 
Shaw AFB, SC 29152 


TENNESSEE 


EAST TENNESSEE A.U.G. 
2029 Bloomingdale Park 
Kingsport, TN 37660 


INDEPENDENT SOCIETY OF 
ATARI ENTHUS 

Rt 1, Bradley Creek Rd., Box 
Milton, TN 37118 


TEXAS 


DOSY Wee ice ate She eae eager 
MIDLAND MICROCOMPUTER 
ASSOCIATION 

4400 Humble Avenue 

Midland, TX 79703 


COMMAND CONSOLE 
Rm W-1132, Jester Center West 
Austin, TX 78784 


AUSTIN A.C.E. 

8207 Briarwood Lane 
Austin, TX 78758 

1st Thur. 


SAN MARCOS ATARI COMPUTER 
CLUB 

113 N. Johnson Avenue 

San Marcos, TX 78666 


CORPUS CHRISTI COMPUTER 
CLUB 

801 Orleans Drive 

Corpus Christi, TX 78418 


ALAMO AREA ATARI USERS’ 
ASSOCIATION 

3646-B Fredricksburg Road 
San Antonio, TX 78201 

2nd Thur. 


RANDOLF AREA ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

PO. Box 2611 

Universal City, TX 78148 


PASADENA ATARI COMPUTER 
CLUB 


_ 3312 Hays 


Pasadena, TX 77503 


WOODLANDS ATARI COMP. 
ORGANIZATION 

2443 Ripplewood 

Conroe, TX 77384 


W.A.U.G. 
622 Cherrybank 
Houston, TX 77079 


COMPUTRONIX ATARI FAMILY 
ENTHUSIAST 

8502 Apothecary Lane 

Houston, TX 77064 


HOUSTON A.C.E. 
P.O. Box 66412 
Houston, TX 77006 


HEART OF TEXAS A.C.E. | 
81005-2 Travis Avenue 
West Fort Hood, TX 76544 


TEMPLE A.C.E. 
3202 Las Cruces Drive 
Temple, TX 76502 


10PM (PROGRAMMING 
MASTERS) 

P.O. Box 92924 
Southlake, TX 76092 


DAL-ACE 

4033 Southwestern Blvd. 
Dallas, TX 75225 

2nd Sat. 


UTAH 


A.C.E. OF SALT LAKE 
484 East 6360 South 
Murray, UT 84107 

Last Thur. 


VIRGINIA 


FARMVILLE ATARI COMPUTER 
GROUP 

1305 Gilliam Drive 

Farmville, VA 23901 


G.R.A.S.P. 

8720 Courthouse Road 
Chesterfield, VA 23832 
2nd/4th Thur 


PENINSULA ATARI COMP 
ENTHUS OF VA 

1212 N. King Street #37 
Hampton, VA 23669 


SOUTHSIDE TIDEWATER 
ATARIT.U.S. 

4836 Honeygrove Road 
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 


FAIRFAX A.C.E. 
2665 Arlington Drive #202 
Alexandria, VA 22306 


NOVATARI (Current Notes) 
5 clubs 

122 N. Johnson Road 
Sterling, VA 22170 

2nd Sunday 


W.A.C.U.G. (Woodbridge) 
15817 Vista Drive 
Dumfries, VA 22026 


WASHINGTON 





A2D2 
4075 Tami Street 
Richland, WA 99352 


SPOKANE ATARI USERS’ GROUP 
E. 7312 Sharp 
Spokane, WA 99206 


SEATTLE PUGET SOUND A.C.E. 


2206 Aqua Vista Court NW 
Gig Harbor, WA 98335 


BELLEVUE/REDMOND A.C.E. 


c/o James Adams P.O. Box 6341 
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a 
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1418 Indigo Drive 
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USERS’ SOC. 

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1st Sat. 


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GROUP 

P.O. Box 53705 

Madison, WI 53705 

3rd Tuesday, IMC, West High 
School, Mad. 


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WYOMING 


COMPUTERS ANONYMOUS 
c/o Micro Center, Southview Center 
Gilette, WY 82716 


INTERNATIONAL GROUPS 


ADELAIDE ATARI COMPUTER 
CLUB 

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ATARI COMPUTER ENTHUSIASTS 
(N.S.W.) 

G.P.O. Box 4514 

Sidney, N.S.W., Australia 2001 


DOWN UNDER ATARI USERS’ 
GROUP 

10 Ruthwell 

Montrose, Tasmania, Australia 


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ENTHUSIASTS 

Box 246 

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TAPE 
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GROUP 

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PAGE 6 
P.O. Box 54 
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U.K. ATARI COMPUTER OWNERS 
CLUB 

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KONG 

Flat C-3, 231F Rhine Court 

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CITY 

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BANGKOK 

18 Soi Reang Prayoung, Pradipat Rd. 
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=- 


Kings of the Atari Diamond 





Computerized Baseball for Everyone 





by Arnie Katz and Bill Kunkel 


inter’s icy blasts can’t chill 
the enthusiasm of true 
baseball fans. This win- 
ter, hibernating grandstand 
managers were busy cast- 
ing a critical eye over their favorite 
team’s past performance and speculat- 
ing about the fortunes of the home club 
in the campaign to come. That day is 
here. It’s spring, and time to “play 
ball!” 

Playing electronic baseball is another 
way roundball partisans keep their 
love affair with our national pastime 
alive throughout the year. Baseball sim- 
ulations have come a long way since 
Atari published Home Run for the Atari 
2600 game machine. Whether you pre- 
fer the thrills of an action contest, or the 
mental challenge of a statistical replay, 
a new wealth of baseball programs is 
waiting in the dugout to turn your Atari 
computer into your personal stadium. 

Action baseball games depend pri- 
marily on the hand-eye skills of the par- 
ticipants. That is, whether the batter 
dribbles a grounder, or blasts one off 
the wall, depends on how skillfully the 
defensive manager controls the pitch, 
and on the timing of the person direct- 
ing the batter. 7 





74. ATARI EXPLORER APRIL 1985 


Statistical replay games aren't played 
in “real time.” They stress choosing the 
right strategies, rather than executing 
them. Each computerized athlete is 
mathematically modeled to reflect his 
real-life previous-season record. Com- 
plex formulas determine whether a bat- 
ter strokes a homer or strikes out. Fac- 
tors governing the outcome include the 
hurler’s mastery of a particular pitch, 
the hitter’s batting average and power 
rating, and the positioning and ability 
of the fielders. 





Baseball by Inhome 
Software 


The only choice for those without 
disk drives, is Baseball (Inhome: Soft- 
ware, 1983, cartridge, 16K required). Al- 
though it has numerous “special touch- 
es,” Baseball shows its age like a veteran 
catcher with arthritic knees. Not only 
is it somewhat unfair to expect a 16K 
program to equal a 48K one, but sports 
games really have improved in the two 


CONTINUED 














a 


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years since it was published. 

The two managers—there is no sol- 
itaire mode—begin by choosing one of 
the two difficulty levels. The main dif- 
ference between the Little League and 
Major League levels is speed of play. 

The fielding team’s manager controls 
the pitcher's delivery with the joystick. 
Unfortunately, the defensive player 
must activate each fielder individually, 
a clumsier system than having the pro- 
gram automatically animate the fielder 
nearest the batted ball. 

This program shows its age most ob- 
viously in its blocky graphics. Though 
managers see the diamond from di- 
rectly overhead, characters are two-di- 
mensional figures in side perspective. 
On long fly balls the field pans to the 
outfield and grandstand, which is filled 
with spectators who resemble as- 
terisks. 

Otherwise, Inhome’s cartridge is 
standard arcade-style roundball. It’ll 
certainly keep a baseball nut pacified 
for awhile, but it is bound to make a 
computerist yearn for something bet- 
rer 





Star League Baseball 
hy Gamestar 


That “something better” is Star League 
Baseball (Gamestar, 1983, disk, 48K re- 
quired). This one- or two-player contest 
is the Dave Winfield of action baseball. 
This state-of-the-art simulation com- 
bines a smooth control system, crisp 
visuals, and enough strategic options 
to keep things fascinating. 

The disk . offers both regulation 
games, and batting practice. Don't 
laugh! A few sessions in the batting 
cage are mandatory for would-be win- 
ners. 

Participants can dictate their team’s 
overall personality. Each manager 
chooses “Heat” Muldoon or “Curves” 
Cassidy as the starting pitcher, and 
whether the batting order will be built 
around hitters for high average (Liners) 
or extra-base power (Sluggers). Al- 
though batters make more frequent 
contact against curves, there are a lot of 
eround ball outs. Muldoon’s money 
pitch chalks up lots of strike-outs, but 
Slugger teams are also likely to send 
some baseballs into the seats. 

The defensive manager chooses a 
pitch by holding down the action but- 
ton and moving the joystick in one of 
the eight possible directions. The na- 


78 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 


} 


ture of the pitch depends on who's on 


the mound; the same setting that 
makes Muldoon toss a slider prompts 
Cassidy to throw a hook. 

Managers view the action from the 
upper-deck on the first base side, a de- 
cidedly offbeat perspective. It’s easy to 
judge high/low and_ inside/outside 
pitches, but only because all batters are 
assumed to be righthanded. The bat- 
ting team’s manager pushes and holds 
the action button before the pitch to 
order a bunt, or presses it briefly after 
the delivery to swing away. With men 
on base, pushing the stick to the left or 
right sends them, respectively, back 
and forward. 

When a batter hits the ball, the pro- 
gram automatically activates the near- 
est fielder. The fielder moves in the di- 
rection that the stick is pushed. Batted 
balls that cast a shadow are flies, while 


those that don’t are grounders.. 


The throwing procedure may frus- 
trate novices. The defensive manager 
must imagine the joystick at the center 
of the on-screen diamond, and then 
move the stick toward the desired base. 
It takes practice to learn that pulling the 
stick toward you sends the ball to first 





base, rather than home, but once mas- 
tered, the system provides accurate 
fielding control. 

No matter how well managers ma- 
nipulate their joysticks, pitchers get 
tired, especially if they’ve thrown a lot 
of fastballs. Starting pitchers generally 
have about two innings’ worth of heat, 
so you've got to select pitches judi- 
ciously. 

After seven innings, managers get to 
bring in relief pitcher “Knuckles” 
Flanagan. Unless the manager's team 
holds a huge lead, and the pitcher has 


plenty of juice left, go for it! “Knuckles” 


is no Goose Gossage, but he has a fresh 
arm and hard-to-swat butterfly. 

No game is totally free of flaws, and 
even Star League has minor ones. The 
most annoying is the computer's inabil- 
ity to throw behind a runner in solitaire 
mode. For example: The runner at first 
base breaks toward second as the com- 
puter pitcher releases the ball. The bat- 
ter takes, and the catcher pegs to sec- 
ond. The offensive manager, sensing a 
put-out at second, sends the player 


back to first base. The robot skipper 


never makes the second baseman toss 
to first to catch the would-be base 














stealer in a run-down. 
One could wish for more flexibility 
in substitution pitchers, but the plusses 


in this game far outweigh its limita-_ 


tions. Star League Baseball is clearly the 
ne plus ultra of action baseball. 


% 





Computer Baseball by 
Strategic Simulations 


The graphics are rudimentary, but 
the strategy is satisfyingly full-bodied 
in Computer Baseball (Strategic Simula- 
tions, 1983, disk, 48K required). One or 
two managers can choose from among 
28 teams, representing 14 classic World 
Series match-ups, which perform based 
on records compiled during the regular 
season of the indicated year. 

Managers select pitchers and line- 


ups from official team rosters. Each\ 
team comes with a suggested starting ° 


nine, and batting order, but computer- 
ists can easily modify this to fit their 
own notions. 

The display clearly stamps this as a 
strategy game. The field is basically a 
chart which indicates the positions of 
the fielders, whether batter and pitcher 
are lefties or righties, and the speed of 
baserunners (expressed as a number 
from one to five). If the batter connects, 
simple animation displays the ball’s 
path. Movements of individual fielders 
and runners are not shown. 

Each _ batter-pitcher interaction is 
symbolized by a single throw. The de- 
fensive manager can position the in- 
fielders and outfielders in a variety of 
ways. For instance, you can bring the 
first and third basemen in at the cor- 
ners to guard against a bunt, or have 
them set up closer to the foul lines to 
cut down extra base hits. With oppo- 
nents on base, the coach can choose to 
hold runners tight, loose, or normally. 

Hitting the RETURN key pitches to 
the batter. Or, the manager can elect to 
pitch around the hitter to walk him in- 
tentionally. 

Starting pitchers generally tire late in 
the game, based on their real-life 
stamina. The manager can check on the 
hurler’s condition by visiting the 
mound. At the same time the pitching 
coach can start one or more firemen 
warming up. A reliever must warm up 
to be effective, but it’s also possible to 
practice so long that the pitcher leaves 
his game on the sideline. 

The batter can hit away, bunt, or with 
runners on base, hit and run. The bat- 


ting team can also call for an attempted 
stolen base. It’s also possible to instruct 
slow runnners to proceed warily, and 
fast ones to stretch for those extra 
bases. 


Although action on the display is 
minimal, the screen does present a lot 
of useful information. On the left are 
the names of the current batter, the hit- 
ter on deck, the pitcher, and anyone 
warming up in either bullpen. The pro- 
gram prints a few key player statistics 
as a strategy aid. A synopsis of every 
play appears on a line at the bottom 
of the screen, and a scoreboard runs 
across the top. 


Utilities contained on the disk let 
players enter data for players not al- 
ready included in the game. It’s even 
possible to form entirely new teams— 
handy if you want to start a draft 
league instead of competing with “as- 
is” teams. Also handy for league play 
is the box score that the program gener- 


‘ates after each game. Disks with more 


teams are available for separate: pur- 
chase. 


Micro League Baseball 
by Micro League 
Sports Association 


Micro League Baseball (Micro League 
Sports Association, disk, 48K required) 
dresses up a solid stat-replay game 
with animated visuals that would do 
credit to an action contest. 

Managers in this one- or two-player 
simulation can choose any of the 25 
teams included on the Game Disk, or 
any of the others found on the Team 
Disks (which must be bought sepa- 
rately). The Game Disk includes some 
recent powerhouse teams (‘78 Yankees, 
‘80 Royals, ‘80 Phillies), several classic 
teams (53 Dodgers, ’27 and ’61 Yanks), 
and some all-star squads (American 
and National League all-stars, Tiger 
greats, and Phillie greats). There’s also 
a team for masochists, the comically 
awful 1955 Washington Senators. 

Every team comes with a suggested 
starting pitcher, and nine-man line-up, 
but the manager can reshuffle these by 
following the on-screen menus. Play- 
ers have access to mounds of statistical 
data to aid in the selection process. 
Pitchers’ won-lost, ERA, innings 
pitched, hits, games, complete games, 
saves, walks, and strike-outs are listed. 
The rest of the team has listings for po- 


sition, average, homers, RBIs, at-bats, 
hits, ‘singles, doubles, triples,- and 
homers. 

On defense, the manager chooses 
from among four pitches (fastball, 
curve, slider, or change-up), selects in- 
field positions (everyone in, normal, or 
corners in). The manager can also call 
for a pitch-out, order an intentional 
walk, or visit the mound. 

At bat, the manager can have his bat- 
ter Swing away, or try a surprise bunt. 
When someone gets on base, offensive 
strategies range from coaching the run- 
ners, to signalling fora steal or hit-and- 
jutro 

The manager views the action from 
an upper seat behind home plate, 
which is located at the bottom of the 
screen. Small windows show who’s 
pitching, batting, and on-deck. Color- 
ful play-by-play commentary appears 
on the center field scoreboard. Players 
are drawn rather small, but are easy 
enough to follow, thanks to the well- 
designed animation. 

Baseball fans are likely to play this 
program constantly, and in the process 
will discover its few flaws fairly 
quickly. The current edition doesn’t al- 
low player trading, or printing a box- 
score at the end of the game. Micro 
League Sports Association promises a 
utility disk to perform these functions 
by spring ‘85. : 

The pitching structure can also give 
a manager fits. For one thing, the slider 
is a relatively modern pitch, and many 
classic hurlers never threw one. Per- 
haps that position on the pitching chart 
could have been more flexible, allow- 
ing fora “specialty” pitch like a forkball 
or knuckler. 

Micro League Baseball comes with 
well-written documentation, a booklet 
describing the 25 teams on the Game 
Disk, and a pair of handy cards listing 
the order entry keys for each offensive 
and defensive situation. 

Although Computer Baseball has more 
options than Micro League Baseball in 
some phases of play, the overall excel- 
lence of the latter makes it an outstand- 
ing choice for the computer sports en- 
thusiast. 

Spring, and the baseball season, are 
here. Don’t worry if you can’t make it 
to the ballpark. Just cook up some 
franks, grab an ice-cold beer or soft 
drink, a pretzel or two, turn on your 
Atari home computer, and play your 
favorite version of electronic baseball. 


You've got the best seat in the stadium! 
AM 


APRIL A935 } ATARTEXPEORER : 79 





ould Atari Deliver? Could They Ever! 








hey came to the Atari booth ex- 

pecting to say, “I told you so.” 

The retailers and buyers, the 

software makers, the competi- 

tors, and the hobbyists who 
managed to sneak into the industry- 
only CES show were all there, waiting 
for the Atari booth to open. 

They were waiting to see the new 
machines, the Atari XE and ST personal 
computers. They saw the new ma- 
chines—and they were more than im- 
pressed. . . they were all in awe. 

The crowd that pushed into the Atari 
booth and stayed for tour days was 
there for one reason—to watch the 
new Atari products perform. 

In the six months since Atari Inc. had 
become the new Atari. . .Corp., the 
press had been rather skeptical. A Busi- 
ness Week article printed a month before 
the show denied the possibility of any 
new computers for tne show at all. 
“Technology, state of the art technology 
is what the consumer wants today,” 
said company chairman Jack Tramiel. 
As usual, he didn’t tet the consumer 


80 ATARIEXPLORER APRIL 1985 


PR. Adler 


down. “We promised product, we 
promised to be here, and we are here,” 
stated James L. Copland, the V.P. of 
marketing. 








Atari Wins Big at Las Vegas 
Consumer Electronics Show 


here’s the VAX? 


Some observers thought the ST was 
too good to be true. One reporter from 
a technical magazine traced every wire 
going into and out of the ST, looking 
for the mainframe computer hidden in 
the kiosk. A major software executive 


leaned over the ST at the end of the day. 


and listened very carefully. “Is that a 
VAX IT hear?” he said jokingly. 


Many skeptics walked away believ- 
ers. “For the price and what they do, 
these machines are unique,’ said 
Richard A. Kushner, a member, of the 
Jersey Atari Computer Group. 


The XE line also drew many favor- 
able comments. “It looks well, and 
that’s very important, especially in 
Austria,” said Mr. Hans Webersinke, a 
representative of Photo Niedermeyer, 
a chain of photo, hi-fi, and computer 
stores there. The Austrians are very de- 
sign-conscious. “They buy with their 
eyes, then they look for the technic.” 


CONTINUED ON 68 


ee