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Pack 1: BOOXL; 1050 Disk Drive;

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Recorder and additional software. No one else could offer you all this power at these prices. And, as everything comes together, you can make the most ot the unbeatable ATARI 8OOXL straight away. Without doubt, ATARI Personal Computer Packs are the easiest way to get into computers. The only difficulty is deciding which one. Now read on.

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An in—depth look at the life and times and what his arrival of Jack Tramiel will mean for today’s Atari users.

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May 1985

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Spec1al offers

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Managing Editor: Derek Meakin FeaturesEditors.‘ Cliff McKnight Mike Bibby Editorial Team: Alan McLachlan Kevin Edwards Peter Bibby Production Editor: Peter Glover LayoutDesign: Heather Sheldrick News editor: Mike Cowley AdvertisementManager:John Riding Adve’f’s’wsa/fm' J°h“s“°“’d°“ E dltor in Chief: Peter Brameld

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on a range of products Save money disc drives, modems and software packages.

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Beginners

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‘?Atari User" Welcomes program listings and articles for publication. Material should be typed or computer-printed, and preferably double-spaced. Program listings should be accompanied by cassette tape or disc. Please enclose a stamped, self—addressed envelope, otherwise the return of material cannot be guaranteed. Contributions accepted for publication by Database Publications Ltd will be on an

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A d ven turln g We set the scene and ask; Have you got what it takes SUN/Ive m the F0 fantastic world of advent— ures? -

basis.

e 1985 Database Publications Ltd. No material may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission. ‘While every care is taken, the publishers cannot be held {egally responsible for any errors in articles, listings or

advertisements. ”Atari User" is an independent publication and Atari Corp Ltd are not for any of the articles in this (UK) responsible ”we or for any Of the ammo” ”was“ News trade distribution: Europress Sales and Distribution Limited, 11 Brighton Road, Crawley, West Sussex RH 10 GAP. Tel: 0293 27053. _

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Keep up to date with the latest happenings in the expanding world of

Administration: 061-456 8383 Advertising: 061—456 8500

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Editorial:

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Profile

The dramatic change in Atari’s fortunes has been due to one man — Jack Tramiel. This human dynamo is the best-known figure in the world of . and the most personal computing of The ex-inmate outspoken. . Auschwrtz who created Commodore, built it into a computing giant, initiated vigorous price-cutting, and rescued Atari with $30 million of his own and a guarantee of an additional $45 million. The story of Tramiel and how he fought his way to the top — and intends to stay there — is told by

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Commodo re afoul of Jack Tramiel was asked whether or not his ex-boss would make a good President of the United States. “The trouble with Jack", he replied, “is that while he certainly has the ability, he just isn't democratic enough. Although he likes to do things for the people, he wouldn’t want to be answerable to them”. This may simply have been a case of sour grapes. After all Tramiel’s footprint still showed on the seat of the executive’s trousers. But even those closest to Jack readily admit that he sometimes comes across like F

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his path.

And this is why the new boss of has the reputation of being the most feared yet at the same time most respected — personality in the computer industry today.

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When Jack Tramiel is around, he isn'tjust a man. In the language of the and you'd ghetto, he's THE man better believe it. At the end of a corporate battle —

involving the

head

of the Tramiel clan

it is said that he will not walk away

until his victims' blood is splattered the walls and the ceiling as well as the floor. It is this ruthless approach some would argue it's just good business which enabled him to lead Commodore to become the first personal computer company to pass the magic $1 billion turnover milestone. And now he intends to serve up the same for Atari,the company which he had previously helped to bring to its on

knees.

Not that Jack Tramiel is overly concerned with what people say about his methods. He only cares for being a winner— so that end result for him will always justify the means. “I believe business is war", is one of the Atari chief's favourite sayings. No one who knows him doubts his word. Once asked to comment on the high turnover of executives while he the standing was at Commodore joke at the time was you get a gold watch if you lasted a year he said: “Our generals are all in the trenches— —

of them get killed". However when Jack Tramiel comes out on top he's not the only winner. For his entire business philosophy is based on the belief that the only way to make money is to give

so more

the customer true value. “It is this more than anything else about Tramiel which bodes well for anyone who ever bought an Atari or is

thinking about buying one”, an industry observer told me. “With Jack you know he'll be in your corner fighting all the way. He's a street fighter from way back, and if he loses a few more executives than most along the way, he won't lose any sleep about it". However those of his lieutenants who survive the rigours of the campaigns are richly rewardedfor the absolute loyalty, supreme expertise and total commitment demanded. More people at Commodoreended up millionaires in their own right than in any other high tech corporation in Silicon Valley. Bonus payments of up to 100 per cent of salary plus

even

-

. May 7985 ATARI USER

7


________________—__

substantial allocations of

close to an autobahn on which he had worked. Asked why he would provide employment for the people who persecuted his race, he answered simply: ”i live in the future". At the end of the war he moved to the United States, joined the army there and learned to repair typewriters. it was this skill which was to set him on the road to joining the ranks of North America's self-made immigrant millionaires. His wasn’t to be an overnight rags to riches story however. Once he became a civilian again he used his nevvfound skill to launch his

shares saw

to that.

"There's a touch of the godfather about Jack", said yet another Commodore man whose name never made the corporate roll of honour. "His generosity knows no bounds, but neither does his wrath. You may not end up wearing a concrete overcoat, but the message is much the same". Bald and rotund,at 55 years ofage Jack Tramiel could be mistaken for somebody’s favourite uncle. In fact he would not seem out of place dishing out bagels and lox behind the counter of a delicatessen. it’s only those heavily hooded shrewd eyes which provide the clue that here is a man whose character has been forged on the anvil of a man to be reckoned adversity with. As benefits a former New York cabbie, it doesn't take long to figure out that doing business with him will mean paying full fare and not getting any change. Yet those people who expect Jack Tramiel to surround himself with sycophants would be way off mark. For he enjoys nothing more than “the more, the confrontation better" with members of his team. Constantly punctuating his remarks by banging his fist on the desk top, he demands ever more from his hard pressed executives.And with him it is argument he seeks, not

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The people he most likes to have around him are the brilliant mavericks who do not always follow the rules. Jack Tramiel, you see, is not entirely sold on rules. For rules often become orders which must be obeyed. And these, in turn, have been known to become excuses for some of the worst excesses of human behaviour. And the young Jack knew only too well about these. Born in Poland, he was provided with a “ticket to hell" at the age of 11 when a number was burned into his flesh on entering Auschwitz. He managed to survive the war as a slave labourer working on road construction “they had to feed us or we wouldn't have been able to work". Somewhat surprisingly Jack Tramiel insists he does not hate either the Germans or Germany today. in fact he chose to build afactory there —

a ATARI USER

May 7985

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So he adjusted his corporate gum shield and came out of the Commodore corner fighting.

Steering the company into the lucrative but volatile calculator market, he suddenly found himself at war for the first time with the big

American market, leaving Jack Tramiel bloodied but unbowed. For he had already conceived the idea which was to enable him to make a a cheap triumphant comeback for the m33595~ compu'ier Having at one time briefly con— sidered buying Apple, he opted out in favour of setting up his own development team.And such was the excitement generated when he even— tuaIIy unveiled the Commodore Pet that customers fell over themselves to pay for it in full in advance then wait six months for delivery. It wasn't long after that he decided to invade Europe, a place for which he has always had a soft spot. Jack Tramiel remains convinced that the Europeans are much more appreciative of value for money than their brash American cousins and that is what he was offering. With no real competition facing Commodore in Europein the late 70s, he was soon able to capture 80 per cent of the market in the UK and —

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boys. Texas Instruments was to eventu— ally win the ugly battle for the main

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which resulted in the company being bailed out at the eleventh hour. To persuade the money man to come up with the lifeline,Jack turned over all of his stock with the proviso an undetermined that some of it amount was to be returned once Commodore was back on its feet. it was only a matter of months before Jack Tramiel found himself once more with a piece of the action.

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the masses, not the classes , own typewriter businessin the tough, teeming Bronx neighbourhood much loved as the backdrop for gangster films. Always an opportunist, he became one of the first to realise the potential of electro—mechanical adding mach— ines. in the mid—fifties

Jack Tramiel and his wife Helen headed north to Toronto to‘ open Everest Office Machines.

Securing the rights to a line of Czechoslovakian typewriters made the fledgling company so successful that it went public in 1962. And so the Commodore Portable Typewriter Corporation was born. Three years later it nearly collap— sed when its major backer, C.P. Morgan, was found to have built his business empire on fraudulent loans. In the wake of the adverse publicity Commodore was unable to get credit. It was only an appeal by Jack Tramiel to financier lrving Gould

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with booming sales on both of the Atlantic, his much quoted saying “We make computers for the masses, not the classes", became a fact of life. In fact it was during Commodore's heyday that Jack Tramiel earned himself the reputation of being the source of memorable phrases. “Business is like sex", he once told an interviewer. "You have to be involved". So sides

And when discussing the possible

threat of the MSX machines, he was moved to utter: "The Japanese are


so we will become the coming Japanese". Yet it is his almost God—like commandment to Moses phrase—“it will be which still echoes in

1983. But the new boss is already forecasting billion dollar profits. To achieve this he was soon seen to be resorting to his well proven methods. Within a month of taking

former colleagues. When Jack Tramiel resrgned from an apparent d's_ after Sommodore greement Wlth GOUld' shock waves reverberated through the industry for

over he had taken up the hatchet to

done”. the ears Of h's

months. .

Now that Jack lS back this time at Atari nothing much seems to have changed. Already members of his former Commodore clan even some he unceremoniouslydumped have been clamouring to get back on board, such is the charisma of the .

.

man.

When Warner Communications relinquished control of Atari to Tramiel few tears were shed. After all, the company had lost $500 million in

THE Atari computer is designed from the outset to be a complete personal computer, where virtually no extras are required to give you the facilities you want and need in a home

computer. For example, this article was written On an Atari SOOXL 64k computer whose keyboard iS a ioY the to use USihQ Atariwriter, excellent ca rtridge—based WOi'd processorprogram WhiCh even works on a 16k Atari using 0le cassette, if necessary, for data storage. Many Atari owners are already aware Of the chequered history Of the company in the US: where the cut—throat competitive nature Of the home computer market has seen the exit of Texas, Timex and Mattel from this battlefield over the last couple Of —

years. Now with Jack Tramiel's takeover of Atari, with his “business is war"

philosophy, the company's expansion plans are based upon a distinct value-for—money p0iiCY where popular pricing rules the roost. In Britain, unfortunately, Atari has always been regarded,purely in terms of computer sales, as less successful than other UK based companies, probably due to the old pricing policy where £300 to £600 was the Atari norm.

So the best home computer

reduce Atari's world wide staff from 1'500' 50,90 to were strewn every— Bodies where moaned one of the dear departed. And ofthe 4,0 bunldings '" the far flung Atari empire only seven still remain. To ensure he maintains a per— manent armlock on his new company, Jack Tramiel has placed his three sons in key executive positions. Not that nepotism in?uenced this decision as Sam, Leonard and Gary are all time—proven executives in their own right. But their arrival has satisfied his Jewish desire for a close knit family unit. Yet his "family" is not ,

simply restricted to blood relatives. For he looks on every member of the Tramiel "war cabinet” as part of his immediate household. No one— and that includes himself will ever be found flying first class

on company business. In essence this is a

reflection of the private face of Jack Tramiel, the man who enjoys nothing better than being at home with his wife eating Polish “peasant" food. BM

3

.

very close second comes hls

appetite for busmess. that he is armed With his new ST range Of computers, he exudes the confidenceofthe general who has just been provided with the world's fiiSt nuclear missiles. And with his finger on the button, the Apples of this world had better watch out. enormous NOW

that for instance the Atari myths cannot reproduce digitised sampled sound in the same way the Commodore 64 can, Well, in fact, yes it can. Games and other programs should be on the market this year that —

gy PH‘L|P_ monnls' Dim“! Engksh Software available lost out to the Spectrum, the Vic 20 and the Commodore 64. Sounds unbelievable doesn't it? Anyway, the Lord works in mysterious ways, to quote a famous computer hacker, and the rest is now history. Jack Tramiel moves in, takes over Atari, brings down prices in one or two fell swoops, making the best personal computer accessible to almost everybody. OK, so Atari remains labelled with the games tag when, in fact, most home computers are used for entertainment anyway. rendering this label now pretty meaningless. if you feel the need to use your computer for something other than games playing,and believe me, we all feel that need sometimes, then the Atari will help you compose music, design multi-colour graphic images, type letters (and articles) and much, .

much more. This is the

.

perfect place to

correspondence from readers who are using their Atari computers for applications that others might not have even dreamed

encourage

of. Let us now

shatter some

common

feature high quality speech as an integral part of their action. Just wait

do

and see.

Also, with the growth in the market for disc drives, the British Atari owner will fully begin to appreciate the great

advantages of owning

a

reliable

fast—access disc drive fast, easy loading, and much more versatile —

than cassette. Of course technology never stands still for more than 10 microseconds and the new Atari ST range represents a major step forward for Atari. The future may lie in Atari's hands still so where does that leave you, '

.

.

.

the user? Well, obviously the software com— panies will always provide an ample supply of exciting and interesting software, with more and more UK companies now starting to manufac— ture add—ons and peripherals in much the same way as they do for other computers. cheaper RAM packs, cassette recorder interfaces, printer .

.

interfaces, and so on. The future for Atari looks very, very rosy indeed. Roll on 1986. May 1985 ATARI USER 9


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BRYAN WILLIAMS ?nds out why the new Atari ST machines are about to

the

set

micro

marketplace

E excitement surrounding the Atari ST range has not been seen in the computer industry for a long time. So what is it that has set the micro market on fire? At the heart of the machine is the powerful Motorola 68000 micro— processor, already the de facto standard in 16/32 bit CPUs. Running at 8mHz, power and speed combine to give remarkable performance. The new keyboard features a full typewriter layout with the addition of a cursor control section, a numeric keypad and 10 special function keys. With the ST, Atari users have a built—in choice of language. The machine features not only a new version of Atari Basic but also Logo, the language much favoured in education of its ease of use. because For machine language program— mers, the 68000 '5 the ObV'OUS choice for the new generation of machines feature not only a new addressing modes and five different

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data types.

The three graphics modes give a choice of resolution. The intensr c°.|°ur d'Splay uses 320 x 200 d.°ts W'th 16 colours on screen. The mm resolution colour display uses 640 x 200 dots with four colours. For really high resolution, the monochrome ___—'

IF there is one single feature of the ST that has caused most healdines in the computer created Q'GSf—and mm" "‘ the °°"“’_t°’"at'°" °f "Vt" ma"“fac‘"’°’s-'t b°‘?"?' '3

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Wings to the 57

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USER

May 1985

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following

on

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Microprocessor The Motorola 68000 running at 8mHz gives a combination of power and speed

display offers a staggering 640 x 400 dot display. Sound is also prominent on the ST's list of features. The sound generator has three separate voices, each with its own pitch and volume settings. Waveform shaping controls make the notes sound as if they were played on a real instrument. Another first for the ST is its built—in Midi interface which allows it to control many synthesisers used by today’s musicians. There's also an R8232C serial port .

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WHEN it arrives in Britain within the "e“ few the 52°ST is “Seeks "pected to "mm.“ befw?“ £600 and £700. The Will include a separate 500k price 35m floppy disc drive. This compares with £2,100 you have to pay for the 512k Macintosh, which has a similar operating system (but on“, allowsa monochrome display), plus built—in disc drive and monitor. With the 5205T the monitor has to be PU’Chased

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Of course it wouldn't be an Atari without a joystick port, and the ST has two one for T themouse which comes With the machine. With this, complicated keyboard instructions are a thing of the past. Simply use it to pull downa menu and select the item you want. If you've never used a

,

—————

for modems and other serial devices and a Centronics arallel p ort suitable p f or d ot matrix printers. ST can The. handle both floppy‘and hard discs. For floppies it has a bUilt in port compatible with the 500k Sony 3%in drive. There's also a high speed hard disc interface with a data transfer rate of 1.3 mbytes per

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d at your how much Simplifies interac— non With the machine. No more trying to remember whether it was CtrI—K or CtrI-Q that did what you wanted to do. Just point and click, it's that simple. First in the range to arrive in Britain will be the 5208T, which has 512k RAM. Both it and the 128k 13OST have 192k ROM, expandable via the cartridge slot to a maximum of 320k. With a list of features like these and a price well below comparable machines, it's no wonder the ST is causing such a lot of excitement.

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FIRST of the new-look Atari machinesto hitthe British market is the 130XE. Like the previous of Atari the generations 400/800, 1200XL and 600/800XL

-

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_

_

the 130XE and the 800XL is that the

—itisbasedonthe8bit6502chip. new In actual fact, the new use. the 65002, a more

machines modern version of the chip which has a few extra commands and uses less power. The 130XE is far more than just a good-looking version of the 800XL. For one thing it has a massive 128kof RAM —together with many other new features, product improvements and manufacturer's cost reductions. All of which will help to make it a winner right from the start. It has a great degree of flexibilityin its screen display found in no other product line. It has 16 screen modes— 11 graphics and five text player/ missile graphicsandfourvoice sound. On the outside there’s a bright new design. The keyboard has been improved and feels better than ever, and the familiar function keys Select, Option and so forth are now positioned across the top of the _

keyboard.

you're wondering about the cartridge slot —don't. It hasn't been forgotten. It has switched from the top of the machine to the back. So you'll still be able to run all your familiar cartridge software. Another major difference between If

machine doesn't have the parallel input/output (PIO) connector on the back. However it should hardly be missed Atari didn’t use it for anything! There will be two other machines in the XE range the 65XE and the 65XEM. The 65XE will have 64k RAM. and the 65XEM hasasimilarspecification in everything except the sound. You can think of the M as standing for Music, because instead, of the standard four sound channels the XEM has eight channels and 64 harmonics. The superb quality sound is achieved by using a sampling rate Of over 30kHZYou may have read elsewhere of a 65XEP model. This was intended to be a portable version of the 65XE,but will not now be produced. However for those of you on the move, you may like to know that a 16 bit portable is promised instead. One vital feature common to all in the XE series is compatibility with which previous Atari machines means that the existing base of software, peripherals and appli— cations will survive without growing obsolete. —

g 7

72 ATARI USER

May 1985

7

7

_

_

M ENTION the Atari ST range and the chances are that within the next few seconds someone will The acronym on say “GEM". everyone's lips looks set to become the operating system of a whole new generation of micros, and with good reason. Digital Research, the company that gave us what is arguably the least user-friendly operating system in the form of CP/M, is now set to unleash its Graphics Environment Manager and show that the leopard can indeed change its spots. So while we're looking at the ST, let's look at GEM and what it will mean for Atari users. In the days when CP/M was developed most programs had nothing more than text output. Conse— quently, it wasn't too difficult to capitalise on the 280 architecture and produce an operating system which could be implemented on practically any 230“st mi°f°0" the W'"9s °f th's 099“th system such programs as Wordstar flew to fame. While it was undoubtedlv a 9°_Od Program, it could never have achieved the eminence it did W'thom CP/M' Then came graphics. Suddenly the was brighter for the user, bUt world infinitely darker for the commercial programmer. For th'e. most machines incor— porated primitives to print characters ‘° the “if?“ the "Limb” °f “Stems for handling graphics was a'mOSt to the number Of brands Of equal

:

_

micros.

5 '

crude terms, GEM

_

-_

ls? graphics equuvalentOf .CP/M’ bl.“ “us time not “ed to a particular Ch'p' However m to ordef dOJUSt'ce t? GEM we need to conSideranother historical strand. That 's the one WhiCh stretches back from Apple 3 Macmtosh to the research conducted by Xerox at Palo Alto. AS Jacleramiel has pointed out, GEM doesnt copy so Macintosh much on the desktop draw as” metaphor Wh'Ch came out Of the Xerox research. Whichever way you look at lt’ the 'S the W'MP philosophy result Windows, Icons, Mouse Programs. Because they share the same underlying ideas, GEM screens-and Macintosh screens have a definite if]

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portability. The mistake which Apple to have made is in assuming that the user friendliness is a function of the Macintosh, whereas it is actually a function of the underlying philosophy. While the Macintosh is a delightful “one—off", GEM has the advantage that programs can be easily ported between machineswhich support the operating system and this time DR haven't tied it to a particular chip. For while Atari's ST range is the most publicised supporter of GEM, the system will become available on other 8088/8086 based machines. In

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fact, since it's largely written in C, it could be implemented on any machine which supports a C compiler which includes the Macintosh. The advantages of a portable operating system might not be immediately apparent to the owner of a single micro. However when it to buying software the comes advantages become obvious. lan Turner, Ashton—Tate (U K)'s technical director, neatly summarises the advantage: “GEM offers an up—to-date, very userfriendly environ— ment vital to the continued develop— ment of complex integrated packages

like dBase III and Framework. “For Ashton—Tate, which is not committed to a sole machine or

system, GEM's easy portability strongly supports our future development

strategy".

This means that with GEM on the Atari ST you can look forward to a wealth of powerful software while e n j o y n g t h e a c m e of u s e r friendliness. More than 70 UK software companies ordered the GEM Pro— grammer's Toolkit on the first day it was available in this country. Hence the ST shouldn’t need to rely on and therefore artificially imported software, as has the expensive Macintosh. All in all, the value for money offered by the Atari ST range and the advantages of GEM in terms of user friendliness and software availability look like producing a winning combination. In the words of Sam Tramiel' 'We chose the GEM interface because u rep resents the most a dva nced microcomputer technology for 00”— sumers to learn and use personal computers. It will help place Atari in a position to offer a powerful, easy-touse personalcomputer ata low cost". Unusually in the micro industry, this time the hype has an awful lot of truth in it. i

AS an operating system, GEM interfaces between the user and the machine. However, what makes GEM different is its extreme userfriendliness. Traditional computercommandsand entries have been

keyboard replaced wrth easy-to-understand graph/c images and an easy-to—use pointing device called a mouse. Across the top ofa GEM screen you'll see Menu Bars. Without once touching the keyboard, you can use the mouse to ‘pu/ldown'one ofthe menus andmake ase/ection from it. It’s as simple as that. Organising your work is so much easier with GEM. By manipulating the screen display with‘the menu, you can collect a set of files Into a folder, just as

you might

in your traditional

filing

cabinet. Youcanevenputfo/derswithin other folders. The GEM desktop also gives you access to the sort of tools you'd

have

like

normally your desk calculator— no more searching through the desk drawers when all you want to do is one quick calculation. Scissors and paperclips are also there, along with the most vital part of any of?ce — the waste paper basket! on

a

With GEM, moving information between ?les becomes much simpler. You can write the bulk of a report with your word processor, then ’cut and

paste’ into it information from your spreadsheet and database files.

'

.

.

May 7985 ATARI USER

13


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Look what you get when you link your Atari to the versatile 1050 Disc Drive: It’s speedy! You’ll be amazed at how quickly your programs load and save. No more tedious

_

waiting! It’s sure!

Disc systems are inherently reliable and ?exible than Fasse?es-No more

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It’s simple!

_

Join the most

Despite its amazing capabilities, using the

powerful database

Q

ever

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disc drive couldn’t be simpler: it’s easy to ?t and easier to operate!

even

With the 1Q50 disc

DOS 3, Ataris latest operating system. Featuring a Wlde Of utillties, 3 range DOS supports bOth, smgle and dual densnty modes, so you ll be able to take advantage of the wealth of disc software that is now available comes

What MicroLink 0

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May 7985

Yes, you can

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505333213615“ Norrnally£22.99perpack, Our price £18.99

The ability to send and receive telex message-9, both within Britain and all over the world. Free access to Microsearch, our unique product locater an easy-to-use index of products, prices and availability. With powerful keyword searching, you find what you want within seconds. A chat service for real-time keyboard-to— keyboard communicating. Meet people with the same interests as yourself, share ideas and exPeriences' The latest news about all that’s happening in the world of microcomputing. Read it on your own screen long before you see it on the printed page. Free software you can download directly into y0ur micro and save for your own use. —

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mainframe computers We want all Atari User readers to share in the new technology that makes all this possible. So we’re offering a unique starter pack at an unbeatable price. It gives you everythingyou need to get in touch with the big wide world outside:

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IT’S the fastest growing?eld world micros are talking to

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0Mosdeftn‘; 0 are 0 Serial Interface The modem is the amazing Miracle Technology W52000. One of the most powerful on the market, it provides all the facilities you require. Yet it’s simplicity itself to use. Just plug it into a standard British Telecom jack and you’re away! The package also features the superb Datari serial interface, which links the modem directly to the Atari’s peripheral port without the need for the 850 serial interface. The best hardware deserves the best software to drive it, and with the comprehensiveMulti-Viewterm programs the package is complete. It supports all the standard baud rates 1200/ 75, 75/ 1200, 1200/1200 and 300/300 full duplex Your Atari User package will allow you to talk directly to other computers, to send your own telex messages, to go tele-shopping even to download free software programs directly into your Atari. You will be able to join Micronet/Prestel, which will immediatelyopen up to you a vast menu of 750,000 pages of information instant world news, sports, holidays, hotels, train and airline timetables, all regularly updated. And you can become one of a growmg number of enthusiasts who are joining MicroLink, the giant database set up in conjunction with Telecom Gold, which is described —

the ofthousands ofmicro enthusiasm the mainframe power and versatility Of a vast, nationwide TelecomiGotld a"? theth?ultlllsopen up an exciting ?w'xz??olmzuIt'b 10:3 VM_ 932k "d li G con:e2t“ed“§)t: ralcird‘l devil!Jo?xgx‘zg'ately information an d piersgnal“zip?!ting power And all you need to become part of MicroLink is your Atari computer and an appropriate modem and software, such as the Miracle package described on this page, Communicating the MicroLink way is not only fast it’s much cheaper than you might expect. outside the London even if insltance, sti get direct access to the El” ca area you can yorrnlive Telecom Gold mainframe computer at local call COMBINE users With

,

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But ?rst, send for the Miracle package and enter the fascinating, limitless world of communications! —

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You can use your electronic mailbox to send a whole-page letter for less than the cost of a ?rst class stamp. And you. can send the same message to 500 different destinations in theUKfor no extra charge. (It would only cost you 30p more to send 50 copies to your friends in Australia!) to need to be a computer ozens o f yotll‘ i“draft.0“ get instant access tog?nius useA?dicro services With plain English commands, or by selecting what you require from a simple menu. And the cost of using Microljnk? Just £3 a month. Plus small additional access charges which are fully detailed in our information pack. To obtain your copy, just tick the appropriate section of the coupon on Page 61. '

Telecom Gold

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Expenence the thrr REAL arcade _

And no matter how many times you play QlX, you’ll never Play the same Qaf'?e “Nice

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This is the game every Atari user ought to so we’re offering our have by his machine readers £2 off the normal price. —

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No matter how many video games you’ve played, you've never seen anything like QIX.

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May 7935 ATARI USER

75


TM

.

3».

ATARI, COMMODORE 64, BBC B, \ Software companies grow on trees ... at least that’s the way it .j‘vf} EAT/MM seems from the numberof new companies springing up every SIM/ssh] Mfrs TAR' \~\\‘ .. week! £3}: 25. 3 ENGLISH SOFTWAREwas launched three years ago with a HITS l T ”533 k rim?" G; ; smashing little game for Atari Computers called AIRSTRIKE 1, “ W .t . 3,333.33 ...: which quickly became one ofthe most popular UR. programmed wavefr— '? " A Max. for the Atari. games i555“ 3 B m: Then, as now, Atari Computers were amongst the most ”3535 M “Qégwow m advancedon the planet, but they were a TRIFLE expensive! 5}; AVAILABLE But we knew that prices would come down, and that more AT SELECTED .wf 95» £7 95 .-. £14 BRANCHESOF people would soon appreciate the great range 01 48k bisk 52k Cas 3W.I1. SMITH Atari software producedby ENGLISH SOFTWARE. EACH my But Atari owners used to be a funny lot, being heard cum: ___. 5 . to utter such gems as: A3 -~-7—1”t “It can’t be any cop, if it costs less than £20” ." _§;§ji§§’,‘.‘?§$it~ .-— Honestly, that’s what they used to say! Anyway, £12.95 ‘ m in the face of this rather strange attitude, we went 48k Disk 3 --3 x37 s u ahead and committed the ultimate sin: é L"?! 1123; {w}; l £9 95 i '5.. 51555 ”t? i; ATARIGAMESAT L“

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., expected some slight re5|stance to these ,,.3 v prices from Atari owners who only equated high quality with high prices, but we were wrong: 13. «\ a Everybody thought the prices were great, and the games too! We even produced the fantastic ATARI CASSETTE 550121: 5_ EHHAHCER at£7.95, a superb utility program for 281m“? 555 5 BASIC programmers. m So now, forthose of you who might havemissed out on ”3 £2: i. g all our excellent Atari titles, we are releasing something i n'? very, veryspecial: 3?" ATARISMASH HITS volumes 1, 2and3 _

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, a £7.95 £3.95 £6.95 Five great games on one cassette for only £14.95, .. (BM 64 CBM64 CBM 64 or on disk at£1 7.95! Each cassette featuresour top-ratedJET-BOOT JACK plus four other popular titles. So now you haveno excuse to miss out on the best range of U. H. produced Atari 400/800/600KL/8OOKL softwarefor 32 H machines. if your dealer does not yet have them in stock, ask him to orderthem from his nearest Atari wholesaler. It will be the best Atari buy YOU will make all year! We havealsojust released COLOSSUS CHESS 3.0, the best chess programavailable anywhere for Atari 400/800/600KL/800KLcomputerswith 48K. Very powerful, with lots of excellent features. For our good friends with other home computers, our programmersare busy producingoriginal games for you as well. They are all illustrated on this page. HENRY'S HOUSE on the Commodore64, and JET-BOOT JACK on the Electron are now available at selected branches of W.H. SMITH. Selected English Softwaretitles are availableat: HARRODS and selected branches of: LASRY’S, BOOTS, GRANADA COMPUTER [ENCGQDSIH] STORES, CO-OP STORES, THE SILICA SHOP Mail Order and Retail and all good softwarestores. .

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North Parade, Parsonage Gardens, Manchester M60 18K

TRADE ENQUIRIESWELCOME: 061-835 1358

76 ATARI USER

May 7985

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— A NEW deal for Atari users world-wide has been pledged by Jack Tramiel, the American entrepreneur who recently took control of the

mouth is", he insists. ”Since acquired the Atari Corporation, prices of our com— puters have been nearly halved. And that is entirely as it should

ailing corporation.

be.

The man who turned Com— modore International into a billion dollar success story has now predicted he will achieve the same for Atari. And, along the way, he has promised continuing price benefits for the 21 million users of the corporation's products. "I place my money where my

I

“We're in the business of people's technology. And as Henry Ford said before me, ‘For every dime you remove from the cost pyramid a whole new stratum of buyers are revealed'. "i believe it and that's hOW this business is going to be from now on". The reason for giving a public 7

'

DRIVE FOR EFFICIENCY ON the day hestarted out in business more than 25 years ago, Jack Tramiel devised his own work ethic. And he has followed it religiously every day since. It is this: “Never settle for doing things the way they were done in the past, always

a ll

summer.

r

All four have expressed interest in, or have been engaged in negotiations about, the Atari ST range. John Rowland, computer merchandising controller at

Smith,

enthusiastic

about

chances when recently on TV.

was

very

the Atari's

interviewed

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'Massimo Rugs/1 Atari’s Euro— pean general manager .

Big sales ahead ATARI'S

newly-appointed

European general manager,

Massimo Ruosi, has “an“ forecast spectacular results for his “patch" during 1986. "Next year the European market is going to be bigger than the States", he claims. “It should top around six million units".

snFTWAn E ,

“N

w the ST range in his retail outlets first, ”then if it proves itself and think lives up to its promise we'll put it into our business centres as well". A Lasky’s spokesman said: "It seems very likely that we’ll be stocking the new computers, but then we are a bit biased as we already sell more Ataris than Spectrums. “The Atari 800XL has done extremely well and we expect I

Among the big names likely to be stocking the new Atari lines are W.H. Smith, Boots, Curry’s and Lasky's.

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“Too many people have got too fat out of this business", he insists. "But the consumer is catching on".

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that just Well, let me tell you Of my worIdW|de plants 0:8 re than ma)“ the fourrtfrom G"I? companies pm

ways to do things hettenmore efficiendy. Our customers are mature and intelligent people; we must give them the best for their hard earned money because, if we don’t, they we have» will know cheated them".

I

MANY leading high street are retail chain stores lining up to board the Atari bandwagon once the ST ran99 Starts rolling Off the production line this

W.H.

find

undertaking to his customers is

that Jack Tramiel is angry about what has been going on in the personal computer ma rket—

the

same

from

the

new

products, judging by their specifications".

Boots confirmed it was the possibility of

discussing

stocking the new range with Atari, and Curry's merchandising operations director Simon Wil— liams said: “The product looks extremely interesting.

“We

are

hopeful about

stocking it and at the moment are in the process of finalising our negotiations with Atari". Meanwhile Atari chief Jack Tramiel maintains his company will have captured a quarter of the British home computer market bythe end oftheyearif not sooner. He predicts sales of 200,000 Atari ST computers here in the next 12 months.

THE WAY

AN impressive list of software houses is working 0" products for the ST range, according to reports from the USHeading the “St is MinOSO?. Which is Said to be converting its range Of Macintosh software to take advantage of the ST’s superior COiOUf display. Several of the country's top games companies have taken to the ST—among them renowned.

producer of flight simulators Sublogic, leading education software house Spinnaker,

graphics specialist Penguin Software, and Microprose Whose games

have been

brought to Britain by US Gold. May 7985 ATARI USER

17


_

'

logo nominated

Ata

GRAPHICS language program Atari Logo has been nominated for "the British Microcomputing Awards 1985 in him major

categories. been shortlisted for both the Home Software class and Thames Television's Data~ base Home Software of the Year award. Recognised as the Oscars of It

has

the computer industry, the British Microcomputing Awards this year attracted more than 1,000 entries. Organised by Personal Com— puter World, The Sunday Times and Thames Television, the awards seek to define tech— nological excellence and value

for money for the consumer. All the shortlisted products are to go before a panel of judges who will then select the top three finalists in each category and ultimately the outright winner.

Judgesforthisyear'sawards include Robin Bradbeer, David Fairbairn, director NCC, Dr Ewan Page, president BCS, Janet Rothwell, NCC, 'John Turnbull, NCC, Philip Virgo, manager NCC Microsystems

Centre, and Ian Werblow, president

Computing

.

THE 300,000 pages on Prestel have at last been fUllV opened UP fel’ Atari owners by modem manufacturer Miracle Technology. The new Multi-Viewterm/ Datatari modem interface and software package makes all Prestel facilities available to Atari users who previously have had to make do with the limited access afforded by the 850 inter— face' Now the elder Inter—

up

The winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by Sir Alastair Burnett in The Park Lane Hotel, London, in June. At that time each finalist will receive a framed certificate, with specially designed award trophies for the eventual win— ners.

The proceeds of a souvenir brochure to commemorate the ceremony are to go to the Concerned Micros in Education and Training charity.

w,

res

face restrictive because of its inability to handle split baud rates — is no longer necessary, The package allows baud rates of 1200/75, 75/1200, 300/300 and 1200/1200 and includes both Atari 13—way peripheral port plug and standard 25-way plug to fit the world standard modern from Miracle themselves, as well as many other modems. The Datatal’i interface and —

e

be used

with Atari models 400, 800, soox L, 800XL, 65XE, 65XEM and 130XE and costs £59.95.

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body which

output?" he asks. Contacted at his London home, he explained: 'We are looking for things like strange

Phenomena (ASSAP) has written to Atari User for help with his research. “Can appeal to readers for any information, at first or

messages suddenly appearing on screens”. ASSAP, founded three years ago, has some 300 members across the country who devote much of their spare time to serious investigation of the paranormal and related fields. It was recently called in to investigate reports of hauntings at Marylebone magistrates court and hasdeveloped aninfra red video recorder to assist in its

second hand, no matter how bizarre, concerning unexplain— able malfunction or unexpected

work. Why has ASSAP suddenly become interested in com—

normally investigates strange phenomena ranging from the Loch Ness monstertoUFOshas turned its attention to the machines. Roger Morgan of the Associ— ation for the Scienti?c Study of

Anomalous

I

78 ATAR/ USER

May 7985

Q.

puters?

"We feel they are a valid subjectin thelightofthe factwe have collected some very interesting data from things run on electricity", says Roger

Morgan. Secretary of ASSAP is Dr Hugh Pincott who also believes computers may well act as vehicles for psychic phenomena.

"A particularinterest

of mine regressive hypnosis where people reveal what apparently happened to them in pastlives, "Now one of the areas under investigation is the possibility of a cosmic database—asort ofbig computer in the sky". is

'

ATARI technology

is helping Britain's dairy farmers manage their herds more efficient|y_ The 800XLis at the heart Ofa computerised animalhusbandry system designed by milk yield monitoring and feeding tech— nology experts Hunday Elec— tronrcs. The £1,495 Hunday Baby. which includes com— system is puter, printer and software for dairymen with small herds of 20 or more cows who can’t —

disc-based Multi-Viewterm software also give the Atari access to other owner inaccessible previously viewdata systems, electronic mail, telex, database and user-user communications, plus telesoftware

downloading. The package can

or ws

I

ITseems thatAtaricomputers— along with ghoulies and ghos— ties—may be among the things that go bump in the night.

0 0d

-

Association.

.

’n

ow

Services

Atari

'

afford

more

expensive

tech—

nology. Hunday says it provides 90 per cent of the benefits oflarger computerised dairy manage— ment packages and should pay for itself inside tWO years. _

.

Ef?c'ent The system, linked to elec— feeders, monitors y|e|d and feed for each cow, enabling the farmer to set the most efficient feed supply for his animals individually. It provides herd summaries cow showing performances, feed requirements and margin

tronically operated

over concentrates, individual cow records and action lists for

day-to-day herd management. Hunday managing director NickJamestoldAtariUser:“We chose the 800XL because we wanted a machine With a high level Of programming language and a variety Of SO?W3T9~ "In other words, the farmer is able to also run business software like accounts and word processing from sources other than ourselves. "An additional bonus with the Atari is that while thefarmer can use our system to manage his dairy herd more efficiently, the computer is also a family entertainment source on which his kids can play games when it isn‘t being used to monitor the herd”.


'_

ATARI

ST range has

scornfully

dis—

Sir Clive Sinclair's claims that its ST range may never reach the marketplace. In a recent interview Sir Clive said: “I'll bet you £100 . . .£10 . . . 10—1 . . . not a chance. Idon't think it will appear at all".. But Atari UK product manager Jon Dean counmissed

tered. —

He s a

.

great

one

to

talk

about products being delivered on time.

said

ment". And so far

That still holds. Dean added that 50 of the $4,500 have development machines . been to US supplied software houses and would soon be available in the UK.

a”;

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800XL ensures efficient stock control in each of the An

firm's five high street branches. And anotherAtari"mindsthe store" at weekends down at the company's Essex HQ. Software for the system was custom designed by Keith Watterson, stock controller at the Manchester branch. He toIdAtari User: ”Although it'swritten in plainold Basic,the software runs fast enough for our needs and has been a big help in terms of efficiency. “A” the items in StOCk carry a code and every Friday we check the shelves to see what we're low on. A list of what we need for the following week is compiled and sent via our 800XL and modem to our mainframe at Rayleigh. "The PDP computer at headquarters also handles orders placed directly by clients

300/300

baud

and use our

Cashtel

facility.

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THE Atari starter

The pack combines an 800XL 64k computer with a 1010 program recorder and cassette versions oflnvitation to

.,

ac

offers

sales.

,.

//

/ M“

/

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pack, which

£200 worth of value for only £129.95 is creating record

MW ,

f’f’f

,

-

130

Its not

Filing Manager along with

saving of£1 15on theindividual prices. Atari UK marketing manager iQOb Harding commented: 'We believe that the first-time consumeris no iOthi satisfied With anything less than a 64k machine. They also require a package that can be used like our starter immediately packs. “A major Atari objective this year is to increase disc drive

The Pay-off game and graphics demonstrations. At £249.99 this means a

because oftheir superior perfor— mance”.

Programming, Pole Position and graphics demo. Recognising that many customers want to use the greater flexibility and durability of disc drives compared with cassettes —but at prices they can afford_ Atari also combined an 800XL with the 1050 disc drive and two discs containing Home a

in interactive the fIrSt live proon Prestel to be gr’arzrrlied u e on a regu ar weekly .

VIGWdata

I

225; Celebrity Chatline

gives

micro owners their first chance ever to interview well known personalities direct from their

home computers Micronet SyStem'

over

the

The service is a development the highly successful Late Night Chatline which is second OhiV t0 Micronet itself in the PresteITop Ten of most popular areas accessed. Celebrity Chatline iS similar to Late Night Chatline's CB—

style on—screen chat facility, except that Micronet editor David Babsky travels to the

of“

'

a has 'Iaunchedl xépRQNET jor innovation

of

m?

.

house Maplin Electronics.

i

v

W

. 1

3;

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,

g

ATARI computers play a vital role in the day—to—day operations of leading mail order

own

w

,,

goes I'VE on PrBSlel

as

long ago as January that "by May we will have 25 to 30 ST software packages ranging from graphics to entertain-

.

the store

modems

.

Jack Tramiel

boss

not

"There is no foundation for Sir Clive's comments whatsoever. The product will be available here late June or early July as we have said all along". Dean also scoffed at Sir . Clive's comment that the ST "doesn’t have any software . He recalled thatAtarl

Mlndlng

Who

Chat show

schedule

on

penetration of the market

homes of selected celebrities. As Micronet members elec— tronically send questions on sDeCiai message frames, the night's celebrity replies on—line straight away via his own home computer. One of the first guests on Celebrity Chatline was Derek Meakin. managing editor of Atari U5” Who commented: "it was gratifying for Database PUbiiCBtiOhs to be chosen to help launch this exciting new

deveIOpment. "This is yet another example of the pioneering spirit behind

Micronet operation and heipstoexplain why micro users

the are

in

joining numberS”.

ever—increasing

Celebrity Chatline is on Micronet 800everyWednesdav between

7

and 8pm.

Rotterdam H0 for European operation MAJOR reorganisation of Atari Corporation was under— taken before the European launch of the new range of A

personal computers. This has included centralisation of all European warehous— ing, distribution and administr— ation functions in Rotterdam. Atari Corporation chief Jack Tramiel explained: "From now

treating the European market in exactly the same on we are

manner as we treat the United States that is as one single market. "We believe the market will be dominated by multi—national —

companies achieving world economies of scale and with access to world-wide resources. Our structure will

wide

reflect that objective with the most modern, efficient and cost effective central distribution and administration system capable of handling volume sales”. Simon Westbrook, UK managing director, said: "All the other European operations of Atari have now adopted this pattern, with the UK being the

last to do so.

"The requirements of trade customers in terms

our

of

deliveries Will be met through computerised call-offprocedure linking factory production with the Rotterdam warehouse.

“In thiswayinventorycontrol Will be extremely tight and Will slash inventory carrying, and therefore total costs". May 7985 ATARI USER

7.9


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Programming

IS eaSIer

than you think and doubly so If you follow MIKE BIBBY’s crystal -—

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micro

u

//

clear guide through the

DON'T know who you are. You might be a wife whose Atari owning husband is away at work, or a father who is trying to come to terms with his daughter's Christmas present. Alternatively you might be a teacher who has just been "computerised". Whoever you are, the fact that you are reading this article tells me your guilty secret: You want to be able to program the Atari micro. But how to begin? You must have noticed that some people take to computing like ducks to water, or an output port to an interface, as they would say. Words like byte, strings and user—defined functions flow freely from their lips. They pass parameters and handle interrupts with ease, then get their hands on the peek and poke in a way that beggars belief!

'

You, i take it, are not like that. You are not a computer “natural". But you would dearly like to be. Well fear not, this series is for you, and it was written by one of your kind. I, too, have sat at a keyboard, watching the cursor without having any idea of what to do next (or even knowing it was called a cursor), I also know what it's like to have someone explain something to me in the ”simplest possible terms" and still find it way above my head. Yet now and programme reasonably well so can you. Read on! Let's assume for a start that you are seated in front of the computer

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will need a Basic cartridge plugging into the left cartridge slot. lf yourAtari is of this sort, make sure the cartridge is in. And that is the end of our

Reach over and switch on (and the TV

if necessary). You'll hear some buzzing from the speaker of your TV and then the message READY will appear, together with a rectangular blob, the cursor.

mm '

ready for

iS

YOU

‘\

to type in some

information. Try typing in tWO or three letters iUSt part Of the alphabet for —

the moment, please. You should soon see that the cursor indicates the position at WhiCh the next letter Will be printed on the

assumptions. The "On" switch is a rocker switch at the rear of the computer on the left. .

screen.

Before we tYDe any more, let's examine the keyboard. Funda— mentally, it iS a standard typewriter keyboard surrounded by several additional keys. Notice that the computer has a O (zerO) key and another key for the letter 0YOU must keep the tWO separate:0 for numbers, 0 for words. guarantee that a let Of your early errors in programs Will be caused by typing O I

instead of 0!

.

which is already plugged in, connected to the TV and tuned in correctly. Some versions of the earlier Ataris

t

Q i

/ A

v‘

I

May 1985

a“

'

jungle m

22 ATARI USER

l

you're lucky enough to have a attached, keep it switched off for the moment you won't need If

disc drive

On

the

there

1

is a do not use

same lines, notice that (one) key. Make sure you

I. (Incidentally,a lot ofyour other early errors in your computing career will be from misreading as 1

it.

and

The READY message is called the prompt. This indicates that the micro

such

vice-versa.) Other keys are labelled by words as

Shift, Esc and Return. Let’s

l


B eg inners

——

introduce easier:

If

convention to make life want you to press the key

a I

'

l

you to press:

[Return]

the

concerned

I l

"

ask you to type RETURN you have to type R, then E, then T and so on. The symbols [] enclosing a word indicate that you are to press one key with that word on it. You do not spell If

as

As far

labelled Return,forinstance, willask

dlfferent

are

I

_

computer

|s l I

l I

and end words '

'

END

l 1

' '

it out.

Now Return is quite an important key. We use it in a similar manner to the “Tm” key on an electric typewriter, to ensure that the typing It is far more Return that, though. importantthan

continues on

a

new line.

not only gives you a new line but also the message typed into the computer to be acted upon. If y ou have been followin g so far you should have typed a few letters so that it looks on your screen something like: sends

-

said that it was odds on you would

from the get ERROR returned computer You might, by chance, have hit on .

a

B as":

d

can work. mar

_

6

.

.

Will give you 6 on the screen

.

While

-

pressmg.

_

END

u

[Return]. Then try: FINISH

and press [Return]. Note the difference:

“NIL.

example,

&

.

For

'

For exam la in Basic t h e en d 0t; a

you program END' The people who deSigned W'tl] BaSIC could have chosen the word FINISH t o d 0 this. Type. and press

miiv

holding Shift down. pressing'

6

and [Shift] will give you & on the screen. Here introduce a convention: If I

END

I

want you to press two keys at the same time, join these keys with +. To enable the keyboard to function as a normal typewriter press [Caps], If you type now, you will find that the alphabet appears as lower case unless you press [Shift] down with it, when it will appear as capitals. Remember, if you want to get onto a I

m,

|f not, type a few letters now. Next, press [Return]. Odds 0”, VOU'll get a back from the computer message

FINISH

”m“

"m"

saying:

doesn't accom— after all, YOU haven't anything in there to end, have but at least the computer YOU? doesn't hurl the message ERROR at YOU as it did Wlth FlNlSl'l- This is because END is a Basic word, while FlNlSH isn't. So far, your typing Should have been appearing in upper case, that lS capitals, only. Let's investigate. lf you l00l< at the lower right-hand Admittedly, very

DllSh

ERRDR-

Don’t message.

IHIIILI

END

much

worry about the ERROR You can’t hurt the com-

puter by accidentally mistyping something, so feel free to experiment. All that ERROR means is that the computer doesn’t understand the words you've just sent it. You see, it to be spoken to in its own language, which is called Basic.

needs

Basic

like

isn't However learning learning a genumely foreign Ianguage. Basic is verysimilarto English but it only allows selected English words called keywords —to make things simpler for the computer. This, by the way, is the reason —

I

corner Of the keyboard you Wlll see the keys Caps and Shift.AIItheletters of the alphabet that YOU type Wlll appearin capitals, unlikeatypewriter which prints in lower case unless YOU hOld the down Shltt key. ,, In this state, which we call Caps Locked”, pressing a key with two characters marked on it will cause the lower character to appear on the screen.To obtain the upper character, press the key while at the same time

new

Iine,justpress Returnand ignore

any resulting ERROR message. If you press [Caps] once more you'll be back to the situation when you switched on, with the alphabet appearing in upper case whether you press [Shift] or not. Press

[Caps]

once

more

and

the

letters will once more appearin lower case

until shifted,

and so on.

At the moment the keyboard should be acting like a typewriter giving upper and lower case. If not, —

press [Caps] once more. Get onto a new line by pressing [Return] and type:

end

[Return]

You should get ERROR, which proves that, as far as the computer is concerned "end” and "END" are

—____’ May 7985 ATARI USER

23


m

different words. It recognises "END" as the Basic keyword but not "end". This is the reason for the Caps key. If you have this on, you automatically type in letters of the alphabet in capitals, so preventing you from mistakenly entering “end" instead of ”END". For the present am going to assume that all your typing is done with Caps on. If it is not on at the moment (which it won't be if you have been following), just press that key once to rectify the situation. You've probably noticed that holding a key down for more than a fraction of a second causes that letter to repeatedly type itself out on the screen. If you haven't try it now. This behaviour is known as the auto-

You could, if you Wanted, clear the like this, by keeping [Return] down until everything scrolls off the

screen

screen.

An easier way to do this is to press the [Shift] key together with the key marked [Clear], which you'll find in the top row of keys on the right. Try it. You can achieve the same effect by using the [Control] key instead of [Shift]. So [Control] + [Clear] will see the screen off, too. [Control] is quite an important key. Just as we can combine shift and the alphabet keys to alter what we get in the screen (capitals instead of lower

I

repeat. By now

you will have probably filled up a screenful of text and seen the scrolling action demonstrated. If not, press [Return] several times in succession or, more sophisticatedly, hold [Return] down and let the auto—repeat do the work for you. As

0. r‘.'(

I

81

WE E

800XL

,

N a rb orou

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N OT

WHY

'

'

Learn With your Atari

'

?.

_

-

Your Computer is a superb Teacher look at range of EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE _

our

_

SOFTSWOT MATHS 7 GEOMETR Y ENGL/SH

£9.50

_

nine

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iggpe

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FUN

funfor all ages DOODLEBUG Drawing ”Mastermind type word game 4 LETTER WORD Write or phone for further details ——

EXPANSION UNIT and plug in modules available for 600/800XL '

Please en uireforlatest prices Prices inc_ VAT & p7p_ Large SAE for details

_

All

_

games are available on cassette only and require 16K Ram and BASIC cartridge. Free post and packing. Trade enquiries welcome. _

24 ATARI USER

May 7985

1

MAINS CONTROLLER each unit switches two standard 3—pin sockets kw each). Two units MAINS (1 for 4 independent SWitched sockets from cascade joystick port. Manual override and opto-isolation £44.95 protect you and your ATARI computer

£6.50

TARITEACH

j

-

programs

With voice soundtrack

'0' Level revision/learning aid.

FAM'LY

GIVE YOUR COMPUTER LIFE! IT TALK TO YOU WITH A SPEECH

ALLOPHONE BASED WITH INFINITE VOCABULARY PROG. INFLECTION PLUS MANUAL PITCH CTL CNV WITH DEMO SOFTWARE AND EXTENSIVE MANUAL. only £29.95 CASSETTE INTERFACE use With standard recorderinstead of 1010/410. Includes remote ctl. relay audio stereo recorders). State whether and Channel (for £18.95 5pm DIN or min.jack plugs. PRINTERFACE drives CENTRONICStype printers from AtariWriter and BASIC/ASS. LPRINT, LIST P., PRINT=H=etc. Uses joystick port only. CM metre lead & autoboot software on cassette. £29.95

'

-

J 3.

! !

SYNTHESlSER

,

Tel: (0533) 8693310

V

Right, it's a computer so let’s get it to compute. But don't worry, this isn't going to turn into a mathematical treatise. After a brief but necessary foray into simple sums, this article is thoroughly non—mathematical. Before we start, let me give you a warning.The computer will do exactly as you tell it but only what you tell it. It's a very literal machine and in this respect is like my daughter on a

of Control later. To conclude this preliminary examination of the keyboard,

MAKE

while.

case), so we can combine [Control] and other keys to give special effects. Try [Control] + 2.The micro should beep at you. We'll look at other uses

GOOXL

Wsoftware R 08 d

back to the mistake and retype. This is just one form of what is called screen editing. There are other ways, involving the ->,<—, I ”I, and [Insert] keys, but these can wait a

ATAR| 400, 800,

High Quality— Low Cost

162L_eicester Leicestershire.

suggest that you clear the screen if necessary, then type in a few letters (without pressing [Return]). Now press [Delete] once. The last letter you typed should disappear, its position being taken by the cursor. If you keep [Delete] down, the auto-repeat will function and erase your whole line. You can use this to correct typing errors. Simply erase

you'll soon see, scrolling is when the top of the screen rolls up to allow more typing at the bottom.

E ' E LECTRO N ICS, 19, North Street, Emsworth, HANTS Tel: 02434 7761 3

W'


——————— mischievous day: When asked to put on her pyjamas for bed she did exactly as she was hadn’t asked her to told. Of course, take her other clothes off first, had I? You can imagine the results... Similar things happen with the computer. Say we want the computer to calculate 2+2. Not only do we I

~

want it to do the sum but we want it to tell us the answer when it's done it. We instruct the Atari to write things on the screen with the Basic word PRINT. This is a relic from the days when the computer's output, as it is called,was actually printed outon paper rather than on the screen asit is now. So, to see the answer

interprets sequences of sums in the order you learned at school. You do whatever is inside brackets first,then

words,

mutiplication and division,thenfinally addition and subtraction. Now try:

Try:

PRINT 2/3 PR'NT 10°00'10000’10000 PRINT

H you have done this correctly, your screen should display:

Note that

don t ator. on a ca cu the takes care of that. Before

si gn

ner

ygu 0

as you

[Return] continuing tryafew simple additions. Just as the computer does not allow YOU to use 0 for 0, 30 R does ”0" permit you to use x for multiply. The * computer uses the symbol instead. For example try: -

[Return]

PRINT 4*3 ,

,

_

,

II

IS

Minus (_—) straightforward. You f|nd|t shanngakeywrth an underline character andavertlcalarrow. D|v|de, however, IS not + but an oblique stroke U" ; For example, 1274 becomes: '

PRINT 12/4

[Return]

f'rSt a at. met y0u heve Pdd you, it.whe_n '5 374 W'th _

ThOUQh th's may seem

,

to

fractions:

dealing

equuvalentto the fraction 3/4' Try: pmNT 3/4 From h°W°h

lam

[Return] gorng to assume the micro before.

0

mu

.

1m.

YOU

1

x‘

.

-

Before experimenting YV'th

further

your OW" devrsmg, ‘d l'ke to "V the f°”°W'h9 sequence: V0“ Of

PRINT 2+8—3 PRINT 4'8/2 PRINT 4*8+2 pRlNT 4*(8+2) If you think carefully about the results you'll see that the computer

TO

be l'USt

-

mind.

'_n

Similarly, W'th espe0|ally large or small numbers, the computer saves space by storing them using notation called ex— a scientific ponent format. Here, for example, instead of printing out the answer to 10000*10000*1000O as 1000000000000, it prints out the result as 1E+12. For E, which stands for exponent, ,, you should read multiplied by 10 to the power of". For example, 1E+12 means ”1 multiplied by 10 to the power of 12" which, if your maths is up to it, gives you the correct answer. Similarly, the answer for 1/1000 was returned as 1.0E—03 which reads as “1 multiplied by IOtothe powerof —3" which is 0.001, the correct _

.

PR|NT "Hello" PRINT ,, Hello" ,, PRI NT Hello ,,

_

0.666§S6666. error rs well undera m|lI|onth, though. smut borne

string

the quotes, So:

ml

The point to stress here is that the computer works to a “n?” Of accuracy. For example, 2/3 '5 not The exactly must be

a

.

answer.

.

accept that can act 0” 'hs“”Ct'°hS' they your 't by [Return]. ' may must be sent to therefore 0m” [Return] from my examples. Make surethat you don t' sums

mm

“E'”

[Return]

PRINT 2+2

that

since the micro a string Of letters or a string literal. The latter is because the computer prints out literally, or exactly, what is between

mm PRINT

,

called

15”?

to 2+2,

the computer should print out Hello. Notice that the quotes are not printed. 30 to get the Atari Basic to print outa message 0” its screen we lUSt use PR|NT followed by the

considers it

in“ PRINT

[Return]

message surrounded by quotes. The message inside the quotes is

x

l

“m““é

type:

little

2

PRINT “Hello" and

1/1000

PRINT

we PRINT them, but we do surround them by quotes. We omit, however, the comma and full stop.

If you don't follow all of this, don’t worry. I've only covered it to warn you about odd looking results to your which might pop up and sums confuse you. Now let's try to get the computer to print out some words. Let's get it to print out Hello. If you cast your mind back to your schooldays (and for

some of us that's an awful long throw), you'll remember that when someone says something you sur— round what that person says with quotation marks (or quotes,for short), such as: He said, ”Hello". In Basic, of course, we don't say

'“ each ' ' ere" t 0” t p“ t s s'm’e d'ff glve different numbers of spaces precede the Hello. Actually strings do not have to be com b'ma t''°n b wor d 5“ Th eycan ea“ numbers. JUSt Of symbols-Including keep them m quotes: Try the followrng: .

.

.

..

NT “4.

g::NT (“33 This should convince you that the computer does print out strings—that is what is between the quotes literally. When the calculation is in quotes the computer simply echoes the sum on the screen. When the calculation is not in quotes, the computer prints out the answer. Experiment with printing out various messageson thescreen.How long can you make them? Try lower case words as well. At the moment the computer is responding to our commands as soon as we send them by pressing [Return] but in a calculation or task requiring several steps this can be rather tedious. It would be more satisfactory to give the computer a whole sequence of instructions that it could get on with rather than spoon—feed it step by .

.

step._ THIS

'

IS

_

possnble.

Such a sequence of instructions is called a program and next month we .

will begin writing

.

some.

May 1985 ATARI USER

25


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IF you have toddlers who are just starting to spell, the delight they show when you run this program will amply repay the effort of keying it in. The idea is that you use a crane to pick up letters being carried by the Alphabet Train in order to spell the word displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Because the word is on—screen the whole time, even children who are not yet ready for spelling can gain important practice at shape matching. ‘

Only a portion of the train shows at any one time, but the letters are arranged in alphabetical order. Moving the joystick from side to side or pressing either of the cursor arrow the <— or —> without using keys moves the train Shift or Control across the screen. Press the joystick button or the Space bar and the crane lifts up the —

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' |


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First in DAVE RUSSELL's

IN this series we'll be looking at the Atari's various graphics modes and seeing what each is capable of displaying. You may have read some of this information before, or you may have discovered some of it by accident. lf you think you've found something that nobody else knows, write and share it with your fellow readers. If we're going to look at the Atari's graphics modes, we might as well start as the machine itself does—with Mode 0. This is the default mode, the one which appears when the machine is switched on and no program is present. It's a large blue rectangle with a black border, and text appears on it in light blue. Although Mode 0 is one of the graphics modes and is invoked by the command GRAPHICS O (or GR.O), it is more usually thought of as a text mode. It is used mostly for entering and displaying the letters and numbers which make up text, although it does have some 'graphic' capabilities as we'll see later in this ,

series.

The blue. rectangle can be thought of as the piece of paper on which you write your text. Unlike ordinary paper,

series

on

graphics modes

though, you can't write freely across the screen. In fact, it's more like graph paper, divided up into little boxes. Many forms that we have to fill in these days have rows of boxes where you write your information, and usually there is an instruction to write only one character in each box. Atext screen is like that,and Mode 0 has 24 rows of boxes, with 40 boxes in each row. However, you may have noticed that the word READY doesn't appear at the leftmost edge of the screen. Unless you do something to alter it, the default setting is for only 38 charactersin a row. The ’missing' two

1. FOR 31:1 to 4 2. pm“; "123‘557333"; 3. NEXT a

18 Glt?PHItS 0 23 FOR on To 15

Listing //

the next row.

Alternatively, type in Listing I and Run it. This will print the numbersfor you, and we’ll use it again in a few

.

moments.

It's quite easy to give yourself the full 40 characters. The size of the left margin is held in memory location 82 and you can see how big it is normally by typing: PRINT PEEKlBZ)

and pressing Return.This should print the value 2 on the screen. We can alter the contents of a

memory location using the POKE command, as long as we specify what number to enter there. So if you type: POKE 82,0 and press Return, the word READY will appear at the very edge of the

Listing!

3. 55mm“ 2,5}, 4. FOR 05mm m 30.3.5,“ 5. IE!“ “ a, saturates '

characters form a margin down the left hand side of the screen. lfyou want to count the boxes ona row, type the numbers 1234567890 repeatedly. As you type the fourth 8 the cursor moves to the beginning of

screen. DEL“?

if you entered Listing I, it should still be in memory unless you've since typed New. Run the program again, and this time the 40 numbers will fit across the screen. We can work the same

.

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magic

on

i I

35 ATARI USER

May 1985


the right hand margin using memory location 83. If you enter:

PRINT PEEK(83) this will usually return the value 39, indicating the rightmost column. Remember, counting starts at 0,

which

is

why location 83 doesn't

contain the value 40. If you enter:

POKE 83,10 press Return, this will set the righthand margin to column 10. Assuming that location 82 still holds the value 0 that you Poked in earlier, the effectofthis poke tolocation 83is to give you a screen which is columns wide. effectively only The blue rectangle stays the same size-it'sjustthat you can'ttype on so much of it now. To see the effect, try running Listing again. 'f you've been playing about with locations 82 and 83 and want to get back to the default values, you can always press the Reset key, This will (literally!) re—set the values without losing any program you had in and

1

1

I

memory,

Before leaving the text aspect of Mode 0, try: POKE 755,4 Normal service can be resumed as soon as you return location 755 to its more usual value of2—or press Reset if you find it hard to type in Outback Mode! The Atari has several registers which hold information about various things. Five of these contain information on colours. They are numbered from 0 to 4, and colour register 2 holds the colour in which the Mode 0 screen

appears.

We could POKE particular locations to change the colour, but Atari Basic offers us a more elegant method—the SETCOLOR command. To use this command we need to know three things: the register number which we want to affect, the colour number which we want to put there, and how bright we want the colour to be.

These three parameters must follow the command in the order in which I've given them. The default colourfor register2 is colour

9,the blue you know

and love. To change this colour, all we need to do is key in:

SETCOLOR 2,4,4 you've just entered this, your screen is now aglow with colour 4, or If

pink as we call it. if you want to get rid of colour altogether, try: SETCOLOR 2,0,0 This produces a very dark grey and the Mode 0 screen blends with the border to give the effect of a much larger screen. Of course, text can still only be entered in the area which is usually coloured. If you enter Listing ll and Run it, you'll see the screen cycle through the range' of 16 colours available before returning you to the default colour. Notice that because Listing II uses the same line numbers as Listing I, it will overwrite it in memory. Only the second parameter, the one controlling the screen colour, is varied. The luminance remains at value 8 for each colour displayed. Incidentally, the purpose of line 40 is simply to keep each colour on the screen long enough for you to see it. If line 40 and run the you remove program your screen will appear to

6 Thank

Atari

for

decent reset funCtlon WhICh many other micro owners WOUld envy , a

-

-

flash as the colours are displayed at very high speed. The colour information for the Mode 0 border is held in register 4 and we can alter this in the same way as the text screen. Enter:

SETCOLOR 2,0,0 and you will have a completely black screen. Now try entering:

SETCOLOR 4,9,4

This alters the register controlling the border colour so that it now contains colour 9 the colour we usually associatewith thetext portion of the Mode 0 screen. Well, we've hadupside—downtext so we might as well have the usual colour relationships reversed too! Reset will restore the registers to their default values. or maybe you prefer having white text on a black —

.

.

background. We can make the border cycle

through the available colours by simply changing line 30 in Listing ll to read:

30 SETCOLOR4,A,8 That is, by changing the colour

in

register 4, we alter the border colour rather than the screen colour. The brightness of the letters on the screen is controlled by the contents of register 1. However the colour of the letters is always the same as the colour of the text screen. If we set the luminance parameter of register to a bigger number than the luminance parameter of register 2, then we (probably) get ‘light’ text on a 'dark' background. If we set register 1's luminance to a smaller number than register 2's, we (probably) get 'dark’ text on a ‘light' background. To see this effect, press Reset and 1

then enter:

SETCOLOR 2,1,8 This produces a gold screen with paler text. If you now enter:

SETCOLOR 1,1,4 the screen stays the same but the text changes to a darker colour. So why use the word 'probably'? The luminance parameter can range from 0 to 14, but only even numbers are valid. lf you enter an odd number, the luminance is set to the number you entered minus 1. This means that if you set register 1's luminance to 9 and register 2's luminance to 8, then both are effectively set to 8. If you change line 30 in Listing II to read:

30 SETCOLOR 1,1,A you'll see the text cycle through the luminance values. Strictly speaking you should change line 20 to read: 20 FOR A=0 TO 14 STEP 2 but it won't do any harm if you don't bother. Each luminance will be displayed for twice as long as each colour was displayed previously. For the final disappearing act, and run the program

enter:

SETCOLOR 1,1,4 Assuming you were back in the is blue, the luminance in register now the same as that in register 2. This means that the text is now displayed at the same brightness as the background. Unfortunately, the practical effect of this is that the text is rendered invisible. Unless you enjoy flying 1

blind, press Reset once again. And while you're pressing it, say a quiet 'thank you' to Atari for a decent reset function which many other micro owners would envy. May 7985 ATARI USER

37


w

-.-

--.-.-.-

— ——-.-.-

-.-.c.--.-

-.-

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-

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in.

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4

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'

H EXE R is a hexadecimal loader. It is a very useful utility that allows

you to enter, display and execute machine code routines. Once the program is RUN, a menu will be displayed with five options.

-

-

.

Hll

er

i.

5. End

KEVIN

cade

progral

Start

{

\ I

'

\l

.

\

You should now enter the address where your routine begins in hexa— decimal without the $ sign this is true for all hex numbers entered. A default address ($4000) will be selected if you press Return without an address or enter a hex number than $FFFF. greater $4000 is a safe area of memory and should be used to accommodate your ?rst experimental programs. After the start address has been entered you will be prompted with:

routines

.

l

i

.

§

code .

\

x

h

'

address?

\

“y

'

machine

\

F

'

-

\

.

helpful utll'ty for dlsplaylng and exeCUtlng

asked

I

“3

ED WARDS .

The choice is now up to you. To select one of the options press the corresponding number key. Option 7 allows you to enter a series of hexadecimal bytes into memory. The first question you’ll be

l

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,

_

CO

Run

?st, ‘

something ll'aglcal about

CD d 2

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find

e soda er g. giltznine -

-

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They are: 1

\

I t sounds I I I‘G the B IaCk Arts I and YOU ”

.

\\

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\\\

N

,

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\

'

b

7 y t e"

Here the program is asking you for the hexadecimal number that you want to store in memory, starting at the address you've just selected. Now you can begin entering your program, one byte at a time, pressing Return after each byte. After each number is entered the ‘byte?’ prompt is repeated, indicating that the previous byte has been entered into memory and that the memory address has been incre— mented by one. The program is now 38 ATAR/ USER

May 7.985

ready to accept another byte. When you’ve entered your pro— gram you can exit by entering S in response to the byte? prompt. This will return you to the menu. If you enter an invalid hex number such as 40G 1, where G is not a hex the message ‘Invalid HEX l' digit will be displayed. After which you will be returned to the menu. Option 2 allows you to examine memory eight bytes at a time. Again,the firstquestion you willbe

'Start address?’. If you simply press Return it will default to $3FF8. Let's assume that we've entered 4000. A row of eight bytes will be displayed. Here is a possible output: 40“ A9 2' SD 20 40 68 6. 00 asked is:

The four digit hex number corresponds to the memory address of the first byte in the row the A9. —

The next byte in the row, 20. Is the contents oflocation $4001.And from this I'm sure that you can see that $4002 contains 8D, $4003 contains .

20

_

and so on.

you wish to see another row of bytes press any key other than S, as 8 returns you back to the menu. Option 3 works in a similar way as Option 1. The difference being that the memory location being altered is displayed along with its contents. As with Option the prompt 'byte?' indicates that the program is ready for a byte. Now you can begin entering numbers in the same way as If

1

Option 1. Option4al|ows you to execute one of your own programs. Again, a start address will be requested. This is the address that will be executed. Since this option can prove deadly afurther prompt will ask you ifyou are


_

$

658 A:PEEK(STM!T):G05HB2088 668 ? :" NIHBS byte “?ll?!“

19 QEH HEKER

an"?!

28 RE" (C)

“SEE

IHM5="S" OI! NHM$:"“ OR LEN“!!! 1185)” THEN ? "Teriiiinated":RETuRN 680 nsnmsswosus 1909 698 IF RESMSS rHEu ? :? "terminated":

39 RE"

679 IF

40 GQM'HICS 9 59 DIN A$(19)JHHBS(16) 60 oPEii

m,4,0,“l(:" M9:’":7

198 ? :? "You

RETURN

‘118 17 "1. 128 ? “2.

760 POKE SIMILRES 716 STnRTZST?RT? 720 GOT!) 635 809 1? "Start address";

133 ?

“a

?

158

?

168

?

Enter code" Examine code" "3. ?lter code" "4. Run code" "5. End program"

mm IF QQSCU'P') OR ”ASSN?“ am no in ? cunsm mm—umrmszo

830 ? :? “are you sure 840 SET 381m

179 GET

that you want to execute the

entered. other than Y Pressing any key aborts the option and returns to the menu.

228 CLGSE ”REED

888 399 REYHRI

323

the message

330

34!

“5”!

350 AS:IIIFBS:GOSHB 1990 368 IF RES)255 THEN ? .? "Termnated".

re—displayed. if for some

'

0

reason the second doesn't occur and your

message .

appears to have locked up routine has failed. your Al mOSt certa'” V t h 3 0 f h.'5 is a left on the 650 gauge t Lus stack, byte Of the Upsemng the fetum address program. If you re wondering how the byte 90t there In the fIrSt place the answer is given by the Basic ROM. Hexer uses USR to the command. call the machine code routine. The syntax Of USR is: .

.

micro

.

.

i

_

.

.

-

-

.

“ID DFLAGZI THEN RE5:163 :$3FF8":? Hill“) 1119 1920 IF LEMQSHA! mil 1! re "Too any

? "Start address“; 4m 1m" gsmfmczi

8

wise

momsmiuzites gznnsmmfzsmgcosua Azsmnwosua 2809

”1,“ IF “Oasgplsu;

NUHZHUH-SS:€OTO

1988

piixiit 1PM“ "Invalid

”W?

HIETURN

1599 nesm?i

2.9,

10

iiEit pupa?

(IUH*(IGA(LEN(QS) 1m

11198 NE)“ L 1118 RETIIRI 2393

AI!(9/255)'IHT“\3’2553)*25§

2918 SQFEZQ:AZIKT(?/16}:GG‘5UB

THEN 51110 439

zslei?IS

are

52° “Em“ 6“ “Start Address"; 618 INPUT as 529 cosus moagsmmzngs

If

azaet?uzmo 2929 zuemfrunn 2965 2648 IF “9.5 HIE! azausnmm 2959 azmss 2950 mm mining); zen RETURN 2323

._,‘

4915 mg

2939 cosun

iiznin?tiiimzssizsosun

539

tiiEii

99

503 GET

549 nzgf?ufggosnn

immune-48:50“; m

IF iiiiii<ss tiifii

1973 IF iiiin)f.4

use

‘33 STMITZSTRR'HS 513

T

99

7

angfnsmn?mumsm 48! IE!” Loom?

n

'

479

-

:;§;t:'?.g:-;“;IGOTE 5” L4 1:88 0 Lam” 5

._,

.

h

'

1048 HIIHZQSC(Q$(L,L)) 1959 IF INK“! on IHHH'B THEN 6070 188

45. Fog umpzo m 4“ ;.. n;

option

NUMBER

”Lake tiiEii 25:15: :$4080":? isoto 1110

on

378 P016 STMHJES 380 STMtITST?RT?mOTO 336

m

to pass data to the routine by additional parameters (b1, b2 bn). These parameters are pushed onto the stack m the order b” b2, b1Therefore, the number at the top of the stack is M and the last is bn the is an

IF as:--" 84:? :? "Start 1315 IF as?” 76:? :? "Start

-

RETURN

440

.

:? "aborted"

we routine"

1889 “EN EURLUME a HEX

'

420 505m;

x=USRiaddFess,bi|b2-ub?)

?

smitrzizizsmziismsmm ‘:’ :? "Out of Hit routine"

1013

-

489

.

There.

"Start ?ddl‘eSS"; IHPIIT “s some mamsniiztzites mm "byte "uniput iiiiies IF IUM$:"§" OR num$:“-- QR LEHNH THEN '.’ "Ter?inated":RETlIRN

319

Ifthe program returns successfuny the message 'Out of M/C routine' W5” be displayed. After which the menu is

:

879

7

(Win ?"

MMSN'W") THE!

299 on a GOSHB 388,488,698,888,228

'|n

is Y,

85a If

218 com 108

M/C routine' is d|sp|ayed_ Your routine is then called.

your reply

G

znfmml 860 ? :? "In

380

If

THEN

-

program at the address

Q5

820 605118 1668

189

sure

IIPIH

810

2988

2,“

545 7 ;-- u;

____—_)

A$

VA RIABLES USED IN HEXER

C ontai'n s

the hex number which is to b e evaluated by the r outine at ime 1000 C ontains the hex byte which is to bee ntered memory. gito e var'ab'e' .

'

,

.

NUMB$

.

-

A?gerianldpurgow ~'Catmg '

'

.

I

.

Whetherorno?heexamine modes;J 1=yes, Ozno This is used {IS o inh0peration. c ange the default address to .

-

pressed

_

A DFLAG

$3FF8 instead of $4000

L'LOOP

”UM RES

in response

When return is to the Start address

prompt. Genefa' icon variables

Ascii code of th e hex digit being evaluated 2

-

Res u it o f the hex Convergiom

.

_

START

Current memory

address

.

b eing

accessed,

3

'_______________________________—___

May 7985 ATARI USER

39


—_——————Utility low byte of the parameter is pushed high byte. And below all of these bytes is the return address of the routine. The naughty thing about USR is that an additional byte containing the number of parameters passed is pushed onto the stackjust before the routine is jumped to, even if no parameters are specified (when it contains 0). Thus, even though you've pulled your parameters from the stack when the ReTurn from Subroutine (RTS $60) is executed, the return address is incorrect and the 6502 jumps to the wrong area of memory. The remedy to this is to pull a byte off the stack with PLA before to remove the executing the RTS offending byte. So the end of all your routines should have the following two bytes:

before the

character

result after

and

subtract

ASCXI code

I

48

1

49

1

2

5.

2

I

1

the extra

tel

PLA

(rent:

60

_

RTS

(retutn back to hexlr)

9

b

Without these bytes your pro— grams will almost certainly hang up. Option 5 allows you to exit from Hexer. And that completes the description of Hexer's commands. Now we'll have a look at the program itself. The problem with Atari Basic is that it has no command to evaluate or

print hexadecimal numbers. The subroutine starting at line 1000 and ending at1110evaluatesa hexadecimal number held in the variable A58 and returns with the result in the variable RES. For example, if

A$:“C"

and the

routine is called, the variable RES will contain 12 on exit. If you remember, pressing Return without

entering a hex number the program to default to location $4000. Line 1010 of the subroutine is responsible for this. If the string A$ contains nothing (" ") RES is set to 16384 ($4000) and the routine is exited. Another check the routine per— forms is to see if the hex number has more than four digits. if it has the causes

routine nulls A$ and jumps to line 1010, which in turn sets RES to 16384 and exits. This is done because the 6502 micro—processor

40 ATARI USER

May 7985

3

51

3

4

52

1

5

53

5

6

54

6

7

55

7

(12*16)

5

56

8

This is exactly what the program does with the hex digits in A$. On exit from the routine RES has the result. The other important routine out— lines puts a byte in hexadecimal

9

57

9

A

55

3

66

ll u

C

67

12

I)

68

13

E

69

14

F

70

15

+

(2*1).

2000—2070.

-

Table I. The result of this is then multiplied by 16 to the power of the LENgth of the string, A$, minus the actual the most position, minus Significant digit is at the start of the string and not the end. Have a i00k at Diagram So from the diagram you can see that $13c2: (1*4096) + (3*256) + 1-

68

characters 0—9 and A—F into their corresponding numeric values. See

Table, only address IocationOto $FFFF. Now the number must be validated. This is done by scanning through each character in the string checking to see if it isavalid hex digit can

found a digit message is displayed indicating so. The FOR TO loop and GOSUB an invalid hex

is

address are then POPped off the Basic stack and the routine RETURNS to the menu see line 1080. As each character is accepted a number is subtracted from its Ascii —

code. The number depends upon the character. If it is a numeric character, 0—9 (Ascii codes 48 to 57), 48 is subtracted to get a result in the 0—9. If it's an alphanumeric range character, A—F (Ascii codes 65 to 70), 55 is subtracted to get a result in the range 10—15. All this does is change Ascii —

16“! “965

16‘2 256!

16“! lbs

16“! 15

----------------------—

l

3

C

2

Menu!)

1

3

12

2

(m,

_

Diagram/

lower4bits maketheother(the lower nybble). in this way to print two hex digits each nybble directly corres—

Splitting the byte allows because

(0—9, A—F). If

On entry, the variable A contains the number to be printed.This is split into two nybbles (two 4 bit numbers). The mp four bits Of A make one nybble (the upper nybble) and the

us

ponds to a hexadecimal digit. Now all we have to do is print the Ascii character that corresponds to each nybble. If the nybble is between 0 and 9 we add 48 to it to get an Ascii

character 0—9. if the nybble is between 10 and 15 we add 55 to it to get an Ascii character A—F. This is all done by another subroutine which Starts at line 2040. Line 2010 extracts the upper nybble from A and prints it. The same is done in line 2020 and 2030forthe lower nybble. The main body of the program is responsible for prompts and simple validation. it you're wondering what line 60in the program does the simple answer is it OPENS a keyboard file for input. This is done to allow us to wait for a key depression by issuing a GET=Il=1,A command. After which the variable A holds the Ascii code of the key pressed.

Anyway, it's time for you to try out your own programs using Hexer. Happy Coding! i


i_

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May 7985 ATARI USER 47


%

It all adds

WELCOME to the first inaseries of articles in which we hope to take the mystery out of understanding the fundamentals of the Atari's workings. All too often even competent Basic programmers tend to shy off such topics as binary coding, hexadecimal and assembly language because it seems too ”mathematical". This is a great pity. because the Atari is so constructed that a little knowledge in these fields allows you to take full advantage of its advanced facilities. The mathematical aspects of the subject aren’t at all deep certainly anyone who can follow Basic should be able to cope with this series. If you feel that despite our best efforts we still haven't explained something fully enough, please write we'll try to rectify the in and tell us

.

I

This |swhatoften causesproblems people are so used to dealing with .

.

their numbers in the normal way that 100 is always "one hundred" to

them,

and

they can't

make

the shift

necessary to decode it in binary as

"four". Actually it

is

rather ambiguous.

Presented with 100, do you interpret it as ”one hundred” or “four"? Our rule will be, ifyou mean our usualway of dealing with numbers (the hun— dreds, tens and units you learnt at school or put it more formally, the —

42 ATARI USER

May 7985

SYStem at

denary system} you write the number If you wish the number to be decoded as a binary number you put 100 the symbol % in front of it means "one hundred” while %100 means "four". So far so good. We now have a marker (%) to warn us that we have to decode the number in a special way as a binary number. However, before you decode you need a rule for decoding so how do you get the number “four" from %100? What's the rule? Let'stakeadetourforthe moment, and think about the coins we use every day. Our currency consists of —

code numbers. For example, if you were presented with a number 100, you would probably decode it in your normal way and say it was “one hundred". That, however, is just one way of interpreting it. If you decided to decode it as a binary number, you would interpret 100 in a completely different way and say it meant the number “four." (Never mind exact/y how you arrived at that conclusion for the moment.)

at the number

in the normal way.

situation in later articles. First we are going to look at binary a way of handling numbers code essential to our understanding of

for computers. It’s actually quite simple. What often confuses begin— ners is the fact that the binary system codes numbers in a way that can look extremely like the way we normally

easy-to-follow

Of M I

the heart of your Atari

goes on inside a computer. Binary is just a way of coding numbers in a way particularly suitable

1

BI BBY S KE_ series looks

Part one

what

u

.

these coins:

50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p.

We can combine them to give any sum we wish: For example:

75p is 50p + 20p + 5p 50p + 10p + 10p + 5p on.We are allfamiliar with this often we use multiples of coins to

or and so —

make up a sum. For example, 5p can be 2p + 2p + 1p Using the same coin twice, though, often means that we end up

carrying unnecessary amounts of change, and for one don't like doing that. Sometimes, however, With our present coinage system we have to use the same coin twice to obtain certain sums. You cannot, for instance, make up the sum of 4p without doubling up on coins. To avoid repeating coins we would have to invent a 4p coin! Let's do that; in fact, let's invent a coinage system where you never have to use the same coin twice. First of all we would need a 1p coin and, of course, a 2p coin, because we cannot use 1p + 1p for

it breaks the rule! Now 3p can be made up of 1p + 2p, but for 4p we’ll have to invent a 4p coin. Equipped With that we can make

2p

(4p + 1p), 6p (4p + 2p), and 7p (4p + 2p + 1p). In obtaining 7p we used all our available coins, so now we have to invent an 8p coin. If you work it out (and suggest you have a go) you will find that with the coins you have at your diSposal (8p, 4p, 2p, 1p) you can make any sum up to 15p. Then you would have to inventanew coin, 16p. Notice how the coins we have created have doubled in value: 1p, 2p, 4p, 8p, 16p. No prizes for 5p

|

guessing Let’s

what the next one I

1

column's coin, and 0 means that we use it. Look at the row for 5p, It has 101 on it. According to our rule, this means we pick out the coins 4p and 1p (and NOT 2p) to make up the 5p total,

don't

I

.

.

is.

summarise our results in a table (Figure I). Here have used the columns to show the coins available and the rowsto show howthe various totals are made up. A in a particular column means that we use that

% _.

4p

2p

1

1

0

1

+

1p:

4p

p

5p

Now let's get back to computers by dropping all this talk about coins and redraw Figure to show the same information but without referring to money —just numbers. Figure II is the new table. As you can see, there is little change, and we can use this table to encode numbers in general, not just coins. We call this method of encoding the binary system. Remember, to show that we mean I


Wise ————————_—Bif 3

binary number we precede it with %. for example, %101

So if you see, means:

4 %

2 0 +

1

4

—>

1 1

1 =

5

that is we add together the values the columns containing 1. Look row 5 of the table to check Similarly, %1101 would mean 13 the denary system since 4 2 1 8 1 1 1 0 ‘7 —: 8+4 1 = 73 +

,.

of at

it.

in

By now you should be able to work out for yourself why%100 represents four. From the table, or by using the addition method I've just illustrated, see if you can decode the denary values of the following binary

,; -

f

s

607?) /

/

__

@ "\\

,A\,:Ty_,//

@,D\? /.

\

,./

(I.

f

«-

1 ,

numbers: /

%1001 101

% %

/

11

'

.

I

"

%1101

.

//’

111 You can use the program accompanying this article to check your results. You've probably noticed by now that in the binary system you only use two symbols, 0 and 1, to encode numbers hence binary, bi— for two as in bicycle. You can encode any number that you want in binary just use more %

/

—————b

-°EI_ “II-“m

“-_-m-—-n

“--—-

m—nnn

,

m-nn—

m-“--“

'

3 n-nn-I T A |_

s

“I‘m-I“

mnnnn “““.I“ “n“...-

mun-Inn

"II-III m-I-I—n Figure I

Dem W“

column or an Values ° 4

Binary 2

1

val...

--—---E--—nnm n-----nn-nnn-m-

n-nn—m-

n-“—“m --———m“nu-I“— “nun—mmmun-um “nun-Immmnnunm

“Inn-um mun—“m

mun-mlFigure I/

May 7985 ATARI USER 43


o

o

_——_Blf

_

Wise

columns (or "bits" as we say in computer jargon), remembering that each new bit is worth double the preceding bit. However it does get terribly cumbersome. For example, 100 in

encoded gdenary) 61100100 Since: 64 32 16

8 0 g4+ 112 + 2=700

% —>

binary

larger numbers (and not just who/e numbers} but to do so it must use more than one byte.

Converting a byte from binary to denary is fairly straightforward. Simply write it down under the appropriatecolumn(orbitlvaluesand add together the value of all the columns in which a occurs. For example, given %10010101 you translate as follows‘

is

4

2

1

1

0

0

bonus

'

128 64 32 16 %

can

,,

we call two Switches are what State they re ether ON or QFF- If we have a sequence of four SWitches we encode numbers by together can haVing them either ON or OFF. We C°“|d use to a 1,and OFFtO QN mean mean a O m a particular column: —

ON ->

%

2

32

0

=

-

,

-

-

-’

1

1

8 4 2

1

1

1

1

1

4 ' _, —~,,

Figure /// 44 ATAR/ USER

May 7985

Attempt

)

20 Tmcoumns elr (fzontinEe 'e SUItLaCtOC‘; er. ?rerWise, pm romot m a 1

set

I

an

......_.., .. .... — .. .. " “"" 9° 3“ ‘° ° 4 9°“ ‘ “‘ ‘° ' ‘

Zean'tgo—semo ,

... ...

2

1

0 0 0

1

=%10100001 After

_

_

While you ll find this way qUite Simple. To finish Off, ”1 leave YOU With a ,

,

a

~

between

(1.6?-

be in Try it can. W” var'ous stolred th'ah V3 ”es 3” dine see' byte). V0“ C3” 18 The? 138 28 GR?PHICS 0 38 OPEN

‘0

”1 ' ‘

' 0'

"K'"'

? 01111511251

58 POSITION 5,5 60 PRINT "Hunter"; 79

“N"

“NE“

“13510255

80 IF

011

“1119511“

IITWIHBER) QHUMER THEE mm 40

Izapr?zlltrfzgpffgo 0 STEP 1 118 MSER‘m—HBER-ZALOOP —

12! If “5510-1 MSER""1""GMO ' 13. ,' “25.“’

THE! HUBER-

__

1“

140 NEXT L001, 158 5.29

1“ 1110317101! “7 KEY 17“ 551 "LN“ 18“ so I“ 40 I” CLGSE m

FOR

NEXT

“HER

_

I

m m

um

)

rEmainl frat comma.ou Id ma k e it c igure _s earer. In practice, when faced With encoding a number from denary to binary tend to do it in my head, seeing which column values will add together to make the sum required, starting with the highest first.

149

5

1

.

Of course the computer can handle

___..

,

to subtract the relevant num b f, irst (h' h golimn succee erd 1iinlEelsjt .1 m a. VOIU 1 h at umn b an dput

128+64+32+16+8+ 41'2 +1=255

—m u

_

I

to

0

1

DR

umn

1.

byte. With this type of organisation the largest numberyou can storeinabyte is 255 since: 1

particular

a

you.

a

1

subtract

,

128 64 32 16

and so on). H you can

0

1

Of a

I

I

A

128 64 32 16 8 4 %

program to print out the binary value number 0 and 255

128+16+4+1=749

_

full of bits. The 6502, which is the microprocessor at the heart of the Ata' n s y stern, deals w'th man y thousands of them. To make things simpler the 6502 handles the bitsin groups ofeight bits at a time the group of eight being

o

1

0

1

If you cannot manage the subtrac— tion you putaOin that column and try to repeat the subtraction With the next lower column number. So, starting With the highest co num b er 128 ”1 our case,

77

Each of these “switches" represents a bit and a com pu t er memory is

called

1

0

remainder.

1

-

8 4 2

1

1

1

1

column value you put a in that column and continue to subtract the next lower column value from the

OFF ON ON

1

0

Going from denary to binary is not at all difficult, but is rather hard to put into words. You do it by subtracting from the number you want to encode the value of each column in turn, starting with the highest (i.e. 128,64,

bécause YOU W’th a sequence

4

0

1

‘>

'

8

1

-

°represehthnu’mbers C es

“1“

I

1

It is much easier to handle the number in our normal system. To a computer this presents no problem, and the that binary Only uses two fact

SVmbO'S '5 a

For example, if I were to encode 161 in binary would say, "Well, I can use 128, so that leaves me 33 tofind. 33 can be made up of 32 and so that does it: 128+32+1:161. Sol encode it as:

mammal-ul-

n-------

nun-----

---n----

----n------II-= -----n-

-------n \\

accept t h e results. The programitself usesoneortwo ideas that may not be too familiar to you as yet. Worry not, future articles in Atari User will cover them. Watch this space

.

.

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45


_—_—__-“

PETE a,

A tar:

BIBBY s sound

the

examines n

Chip and regretfully

reports,

.

.

.

I AS you'll already know, your Atari micro is a clever little beast. One of the cleverest things about it is the sound chip it contains which allows all manner of wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) noises to accompany your programs. However there's always a fly (or is it a bug?) in the ointment of microcomputing. With Atari sound it's the fact that, at first sight at least, using the sound facilities needs an IQ somewhere near genius. In point of fact, when you take the time and trouble to get to know it you'll find that although the sound chip is complex, using it needn't be all that complicated. You just have to take it one step at a time. However, at first sight all the PEEKs and POKEs and

quite

registers can

_ .

— the SOUND command

that shows there is no the controlling parameter length Of the note 't produces. Other micros a duration have parameter. The Ata” has none. 3° when enter a V°_U SOUND command directly "no the mle0 the note JUSt carries on. BY this time the note produced by: SOUND

.

vow“

.

.

channel,pitcl|,dtstortion,

BOUND

Don't worry too much about the parameters following the SOUND. We'll deal with those later in the article. For the moment, thrill to the sound of your Atari by typing: SOUND

and pressing

l,2|l,ll,8

Return.

you're'deaf, you'll notice IS that the note produced comes from the television. If you don't believe me, try turning the TV's volume control and hear the difference. The second thing you (and the rest of the family) will become aware ofis the fact that the note carries on. And on. And on. A quick glance at our formula for Unless

two things. The first

46 ATAR/ USER

May 7985

SOUND

' ’ .'. '.

which in effect tells channel Oto shut up. But now I'm getting ahead of myself, as we haven't met channels yet. As you ll know from of the ames you've played, your son/le tari isn't ici’mitedto playing just one note at a

notes Simultaneously. This is possible because the Atari's sound chip has four channels, each channel being able to produce a separate note. The channels are numbered from 0 to 3 and we select which channel a SOUND command uses by putting

the appropriate number in its channel parameter. So (ignoring the other

to

come

DJ", 10,8 .

SOUND

l,l,l,l

for channel 0 and. .

SOUND

for channel

39'9'1!

3.

The more suspicious of you may think I'm cheating. After all the note was the same on both channel 0 and channel 3, Maybe there's only one channel.

For the Doubting Thomases a little and use some of the other SOUND parameters to play a chord using notes on all four channels. among you l'II jump ahead

SOUND SOUND SOUND

can

produce some quite harmonies using up to four complek

,

channel 0 while SOUND 3 ' 2" ' ll ' 8 plays its note on channel 3. Notice that to switch off the sounds, you have to use:

.

time. It

well

used

“unite

offputtTizg musrcran. ISIS athet ecause pl ywbouId—be Will probably be 98“th 0" YOU" you can achieve a fair command of Atari sound using just one simple nerves. There are three ways to stop Basic command, the aptly named it, hOt counting a Sledgehammer. The SOUND command. This is the one first two are either to switch off the we'll be exploring in this article. micro or hit the Reset bU?Oh- The The SOUND command takes the trouble is that these are a bit drastic. form: Amuch more elegant solution is to use: SOUND

_

WhICh

_

to

is:an

parameters shortly):

SOUND

Now

do you

.

swrtch

l,243,ll,8 humum 2,162,lI,D 3.120,lI,O believe

me?

the notes Wlth'

If

you

.

Off

SOUND SOUND SOUND

_

l,l,l,l l,l,l,l

2,|,|’|

3m LL”.

you'll not hear the four channels, you see what I mean. Soto

sum

up,we've found that

if

we


can use the SOUND command to make a noise on one or more of four sound channels. This noise carries on until we switch it off with the

appropriate: SOUND

whole numbers in the pitch par— ameter. In this case it rounds 12.5 up to 13. As we've said, the pitch parameter can vary from O to 255, with 255 giving the lowest note, the highest and O silence. What happens if we wander outside this range?

where channel takesavalue from Oto 3.

H we

Incidentally, have you tried using other channel numbers such as 5 or —1 ? It's not allowed. You'll find you get an error 3 message. When we played our four note chord earlier you may have noticed that each SOUND command had a different pitch parameter. Channel 0 had a pitch parameter of 243, channel had one of 193 and leave it to you to figure out the pitch parameters for the remaining two I

channels.

It's the pitch parameter that decides how high or low the note is going to be. It can take values from 0 to 255. The bigger the number the lower the note produced, the smaller the number the higher the note. Enter:

2,24l,l0,0 short delay:

SOUND

and, after

a

SOUND

2,16,ll,8

you'll hear what I mean. For the musically inclined, the range Of values from 0 to 255 gives three octaves With middle C over being equal to 1.21' The trouble '5 that there '5 h° standard increment or decrement in the pitch parameter which corresponds to a semitone. You either have to ‘00k them upinatable 0" playthem by ear. I preferthe second technique. _

There is one rule that the pitch parameterdoes follow,and thatis the rule of octaves. If you halve the value of a pitch parameter you get the same note an octave above. If you can't follow that, or don’t know what an is,

la in

use

negative pitch

a

2'

produces the

3“

1. '

:

pSOZlNDgl ’ 2" ’ ll ’ 8 followed successively by:

8

2,44,1e,8

and:

guns.

SOUND

2'55‘3'1.”

the p'tCh parameters even though 'hV°h’ed are vastly different. Now that we've got halfway through the parameters of the SOUND command,let's use them ina

1. my panama 2D SOUND

I.

Type it in

1

l,243,1l,8

3. 90W” 11193iuye 4. SOUND 2,162,1l,8 SI SUMO .,

_

it? We all over

happened ShOWS

US

687W 0" and 0“

SOUND

until we

stop them or may another note 0” that channel. However when we use them in a program the notes produced last only as long as that program. When the

If

show you.

Shot‘iid 9 more inquisitive

may won d er what happens if you carry on the above experiment and enter:

Try it

2. 3.

"05th

H DlSTORT-I TO

RE" FOR

14 STEP 2

PRINT DISTORT

40

SOUND

SI

FDR

bl

"EXT

l,2",DISTORT,l5

DELAYst

Til llllzNEXT

DELAY

MSW”

SOUND

|,2||,1|,15

The final parameter m the SOUND ,

.

_—_'P

I,lDl,ll,S I,5|,1l,8 l,25,ll,8

SOUND SOUND

SOINID

the

way the SOUND command differs according to the Circumstances In WhiCh it is used. When his entered difeC?V into the micro, as we were doing up until Program |, the ”Ones

producedjust

1.

distortion of 14 is also acceptable as an unadulterated tone. As before, if you use a negative distortion you're rewarded with an error3 reportforyourpains. Ifyou use vaiues outside the range you,” find that the Atari uses the distortion MOD 16. This means that: SOUND I ' 2“ ’ 26 ' 15 produces the same note as:

_

IS

Program II will let you hear it at work. Try it out with notes of pitch other than 200 and hear its effect.

You'll notice that a distortion of 10 gives an almost pure note, hence l've been using itin the examples so far. A

3,128,1li8

Not very excmng, in a flash. What has

»

But enough of this making up fora parameter we lack, there are still two parameters we haven’t discussed yet, involving distortion and volume. The distortion parameter actually distorts the sound played by a channel. Taking values that range from O to 14 in steps of 2, it's the distortion parameter that allows the Atari to produce allthe specialeffects sounds like explosions and machine

same note as:

souun

.

desire.

Hence: SOUND

hear the chord.

XOR,“

ThiSis the method ofgettlng round the afore—mentioned lack of a duration parameter. Crafty use of varying delay loops can ensure that the notes produced by a SOUND command are as long or short as we

parameter, the micro doesn't like it and comes backto you with an error3 message. However if we use a number higher than 255 then, rather than bring things to a halt, the micro keeps on taking 256 away from the excessive pitch parameter until it is within range. More technically, it takes the pitch parameter MOD 256.

program such as Program and Run it-

and

octave

and

1

channel,l,l,l

1

program ends, so does the note. Try extending the life of Program I with a delay loop such as: 6! FOR DELNYll TO llOlzNEXT DELAY

I,12.5,ll,8

and see.

The Atari expects

ERROR

negative pltCh parameter the we

use

a

.

3 ‘

micro

does"

It like it

,

h '

May 7985 ATARI USER

47


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SOUND ”3“ t° ‘ tion”mine to 9“'°

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m: seams “racism“; 70 m1 usm I. IISZtHRSHSS) 1“ GRAPHICS “FORE 752,13POKE 713,135, :? m5t125);:POKE 712,17ozcoton 32:91. or Loam: 70,45 no rosnmu 17,2:1 "5m": 120 9051710! 13,3:‘2 “DENISTIIM'IW 125 pox: 32,1. 130 P0517!“ 10.7:1 “D SWING DALI. “s? "2: MINE! w: tantrum-z? "n x mum-z? "u FOOTSTE'S" 4u. 1 "5: cu non-"n "s: mar-? 7’ 4mm" 150 ‘.' "a: 0mm? '9) ”WE"?! "to: nus: cur-z? "1” runs; nssn. E“ mi 2 "12: mm amorous“ 17. mm mwosnxu l,22:? “Swami! our “1 on an s:un;--onxm;=mr 4 on “mum we: 170 no u a toss: 4n,4so,su,sso,m,sso

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com 10.

From Page 47 statement

governs volume and it value from O to 15. The loudest note is given by a value of 15, the quietest by a value of (unless you count 0, which gives silence, as the quietest). A negative volume brings the old familiar error 3 report, while volumes of 16 and-over just produce silence. One pomt to remember IS that the O to 15 range IS relatlve. The actual loudness of the note produced depends on how loud you have the volume on your TV. Ifyou don't follow that, try turning the TV sound down very low and playing: ranges

in

1

.

.

then turning the volume up. The note gets louder even though the volume parameter is still the same. And that’s more or less the end of our exploration of the SOUND

command.TabIel'sums upthe values that the parameters can take. As you've seen, and heard, it's not that hard to grasp, and simple tunes should be within the scope of beginners to programming. And if you can't be bothered to write your own tunes Program ”I, a\ random music generator, do will it_for you. What seems utter rubbish at ?rst becomes surprismglysoothing as you .

.

.

'

ll

mom“ "I 2. FDR 1" TO III 3 ML'IMWNN."” RE”

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.

you’re feeling adventurous, try distortions other than 10. You could become a big noise in the world of Atari sound! If

and

48 ATARI USER

May 7985

Ot03

Ot0255

Oto14 (in 2's)

Tab/e /:

SOUND parameter values

_

X

Program ///

listen to it.

t

0to15

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May 7985 ATAR/ USER

49


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ENGLISH

Software has three volumes of Atari Smash Hits, but we've only had Volumes 2 and 3 sent for review so I won't be saying released

much about Volume 1. All three volumes contain Jet—Book Jack, probably the best—known of the games. In fact, if you haven’t already got Jet-Boot Jack it might be worth buying one of these volumes to fill the hole in your

e

collection. In addition to being a good game it has several features

which other manufacturers would do well to copy, like the facility to set the skill level and the option to skip lower levels. As well as Jack, Volume 2 contains four other games to keep you amused. They're not all arcade games either. Stranded is an adventure game in which you play the part of Special Agent Sid — even

are

you

if

a

woman!

You've been dumped on a strange planet and your mis— sion is to return home safely. The game uses fairly simple line drawings on the top half of the screen, with the location and commands descriptions appearing on the lower half. There's a Help facility if

you're stuck, although the and the game can be saved and reloaded at any point. Meanwhile, back at the joystick, Diamonds casts you in the role of Digger Dan the prospecting man. Your task is to collect all the diamonds while avoiding such characters as Brian the Blob and Phil the Filler. There are 16 levels so it will keep you busy for some time.

There'sapausefacilitywhichl found essential so I could have a wrist—rest, because the game seems to be very slow at

reading the joystick

as

though it's written in Basic! This resulted in my applying hence the need

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ability to climb up trees and buildings. As the levels increase, so do the number of bags of silver to be collected.The skill level can be selected. I must admit got bored very quickly with this one, despite the interesting Olde English computer music. Citadel Warrior, the last of the five on Volume 2, is a has an amazing

I

two-dimensional

scrolling

which you must explore maze ln order to defuse the cyclo— tron bombs. Since only part of the maze is visible on the remem—

Your fuel i use dumps man alarmin ratse — a ubp It llke drivin g aQR ange Rover: Also, coming into contact Wlth the walls uses more fuel,andthere

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security robots to avoid. It's a familiar theme,

reasonably well implemented. The only thing WhiCh spoiled the game for me was the fact that when you come in contact

with

the wall, the whole judders. After a while, this had a horrible effect on my screen

eyes. Still, l’lI play it a bit and

risk one eye!

After the obligatory Jet— Boot Jack, Volume 3 gets under with Airstrike 2 (by way.

Rocket Rald, out of Scramble). Unlike some versions, this one gives you a limited supply of and missiles bombs.‘ Its a lf llke good_game you that sort Wthl‘l I do. thing of What a plty_the demo mode cheats by flylng through every obstacle, othen/vise you might have gleaned some hints on '

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and kiss Maid Marian while avoiding the arrows of the

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strategy. Still. it's nice to see what evil awaits YOU at the farther reaches. Batty Builders was a de— lightful surprise since hadn't encountered it before. It I

sounds simple you have to build a wall by catching bricks as they fall off a conveyor belt. However, to be successful requires speed, accuracy and some strategic thinking. The bricks drop quite fast and are deadly if they hit you. In order to catch them, you must be directly below with your arms raised. four of 'There are shades and in order maleise brick to must bUlId the wall pomts you ln a set pattern. If you don't throw the bfiCkS accurately. they don't always end up where you intended and may —


Software

———————

well spoil the pattern. You must also consider the pattern in deciding whether to catch any particular brick, or be quick to move out of its way. On level

you only have the bricks to contend with. On there are eight higher levels altogether there are boxes of TNT moving around your legs to make life difficult. The TNT makes level 2 a lot harder than level I would have preferred a more gradual 1

1

transition

between

levels.

Even so, it's still a good game. By including Breath or The Dragon, Volume 3 uses a technique borrowed from the record industry. It's not uncommon for a 'greatest hits' album to contain one previously unreleased track, so why should software houses be any different?

mm... .

adventure

'

game but requtres arcade-type skills. You are trapped in the inner circle of a double maze which you must explore in order to find enough provisions to see you through the outer maze — always assuming you can find the door. The dragon isjust one ofthe hazards to be avoided as you roam around. The walls and ceilings are fatal to the touch, as are the mobile false teeth, the giant spiders and other assorted nasties. It's one of those games which take a while to develop as you learn the various skills— like jumping over the rubbish without hitting the ceiling. The instructions leave you to work out the various and it possible movements wasa while before realisedl not like me could lie down at all. Once you get the hang of it there are six selectable skill levels to keep you busy into the night. Finally on Volume 3, Nep— tune’s Daughters await rescue by an intrepid aquaman who absorbs oxygen “through the gills on the side of his neck”. I suppose ifyou're going to have gills, you might as well have them there. You are armed (or should I say finned?) with an unlimited supply ofharpoonswithwhich |

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to do battle. The foes include sucker plants, an octopus which onlygets stunned bythe harpoons, and killer amoebae. The action obviously takes place off-shore from Sellafield because the amoebae are as big as the aquaman himself. Biology aside, though, the game is challenging enough to

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.

be fun.

about £3 a game on the tape. I'd only go back to four of the games on Volume 2, but because it contains a "tradi— tional' adventure it might well appeal more to some people than Volume 3. Either way, you pay your money and you get a fair bit of choice. Dave Russell

The cassette version of each volume costs £14.95 with the equivalent discs being £17.95. Of the two volumes I’ve looked at here, I prefer Volume 3 and would consider

it much

better

value.

lt

contains five games that l'd play again, which works out at

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IF you go by the number of locations, Snowball must be one of the biggest adventure games ever. lt boasts over 7,000 of them, but fortunately you don't have to map the complete set. According to Level 9, the action takes place aboard a starship that could actually work. Not having the facilities to check this statement, l'll take their word for it. The Snowball is an aptly— named interstar freezer ship containing two million frozen colonists. You play the part of Special Agent Kim Kimberley, woken while the ship is in transit. The fact that you've been woken means that something is wrong. It’s your job to find out what's happened and save the lives of the passengers. Being based on a ‘working model', the problems to be solved in Snowball are logical rather than magical. However, as the manual suggests, some of the technology used might be described as magical in 1980’s terms. You start the game in your coffin and your first problem is to get outof it. Pretty soonyou

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encounter the Nightingales, a lethal variety of robot that

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game they can think themselves into the role.

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tuaries.

The game follows

the classic adventure style in that you are awarded points for certain actions. There is a maximum score of 1,000, but you can complete the game with a less than perfect score so it's not like having to collect a given number of ‘treasures'. Level 9 have developed a powerful parsing system, so your input can be a bit more than Get Sword or Kill Dragon. You can even use |T to refer to

the object of the previous command, which saves a lot of time in the long run. Having said that I noticed some anomalies. If you wanta break from the game itself, ?nd a safe location and try typing in the alphabet a letter at a time. Some care has obviously gone into creating the charac‘ ter of Kim because even with a picture on the cover of the manual and a personality pro?le inside, it's not clear whether Kim is male or female. This means that no matter who is playing the

really appreciate this

I

aspect you've no idea how fed up am of pretending to be ahairy—armed yobbo. In fact I really enjoyed playing Snowball and would recommend it to anyone who likes a good adventure and is fed up with dwarves and swords. My only complaint is that BBC Micro owners getabetter deal. Presumably by the use of ——

I

clever interrupt pro-

some

gramming, the Beeb version of the tape plays a lovely tune while loading. Given that the official Atari tape—deck has an audio channel as well which the ‘conversational' series of language tutorials put to good —

Level 9 could have included the tune without

use

needing the clever pro— gramming. Snowball is the first of a Silicon Dream trilogy. The second in the series, Return to Edenis now available and ifit's as enjoyable as Snowball l’lI be out of circulation for the next few weeks. even

Elisabeth Dennis May 7985 ATARI USER

51


F I.'il e 92 t s hectic when Dro Zone is runnm

ONE of the best measures of a good arcade game is the

I

., you while you're playing it. loaded Drop Every time Zone from US. Gold, people gathered around me in the office and wanted to play it. Some of them even scored more than me, which meant had to keep pjaying just one more time.

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of the usual space-ship, though, you have a Jetpac type Of character who shoots from the navel! The 3—D landscape looks like it was constructed from the pictures that the Mariner (or was it Voyager?) mission sent back. It's a Martian red, and it scrolls beautifully as you zoom around.

Not that you get much chance to zoom around once the alien hordes catch sight of you, The explosion when they catch you is what the blurb calls a “volcano" like an and had expensive firework several ofthe onlookers asking me to get killed off so they could see it again. Beneath the landscape is your "high speed scanning viewer” a sort of radar on which you can see where the aliens are. decided it's called "high speed" because unless I looked at high speed the aliens caught me while I was still taking the information in. You need to sit close to the keyboard in order to make use ofthe cloak and strata bombs. Although you have unlimited fire—power, the cloak runs out quite quickly and you only get three bombs. Score over 10000 points and YOU get another life and bomb. The cloak is another replenished as you complete each level. You II need to exceed 10,000 to get the hall of ‘ln fame too, but it's worth the effort to see the colour display —

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as you enter your initiaIS. If you're an arcade freaklike me, you'll love Drop Zone. It

will set you back £14.95 for the disc version or £9.95 for cassette,and you need at least 48k. I fail to see why the disc should cost £5 more, but the tape isworth itifyoucanstand the lO-minute wait while it loads. Come to think of it, you might as well use the loading time to relax life will be pretty hectic once Drop Zone is up and running. —

Cliff McKnight

At t 3 Ck Of the cam ?ts

Mutant _

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52 ATARI USER

May 7985

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I THINK it's true to say that there aren't that many games around where you can bounce 90 foot high camel while off-a trying to blast it with your spaceship's neutron cannon. If there are other games in which you can do this, chances

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protect the men on the planet from the invading aliens and return them one by one to the Dropzone where the landing pad is located. As the press release ad~ mitted, the ame comes out of the Defendir mould. Instead

come from Jeff that they Mlnters Llamasoft, as does Attack of the Mutant are

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enjoyable, game. For a control of your start, not tsrpaceship e joystic Lsto (me easy.dMoving Si e turns the ship and starts it accelerat— HAVING seen the Coming in thecorresponding direc— modore 64 version of Hover tion. Trouble is, once it is Bovver, I jumped at the moving the ship has inertia. chance to review it for Atari Suffice to say that control takes a bit Of practice. User. Maybe my expectations The camels need shooting were too high,butlhave tosay ' didn't like it more than once, and they shoot back. If you collide with I loved the storyline and the one, you bounce Off With intFOdUCtOTV cartoon, the tremendous force. it you're music was fine (for the first between two camels when hour anyway), it's just that I found the game almost unyou collide, you can be bounced back and forth. playable. It didn't seem to Bouncing is not to be recom— respond to the joystick, so mended because it depletes much so that I even began to think my joystick was faulty. your shield. If you can clear the six But as soon as I loaded camels you then enter hyper— another game the joystick drive. Whereas in most games seemed fine, so I have to this would simply lead to the conclude it was Hover Bovver. next level, in Mutant Camels The game is set in the the hyperdrive isachallenge in English garden where Gordon itself. Bennet is trying to mow his Aftera warning, you startto lawn. He's borrowed his accelerate across the land— neighbour's machine, and the scape and a rocket barrage neighbour wants it back. comes toward you. lfyou don't There's a whole strategy to be worked out based on the successfully dodge all the rockets you lose a ship and behaviour of the various must clear the same sector people, the tendency of the mower to overheat, and the again. Before play starts you can necessity to keep an eye on choose from six levels of the Dog Loyalty and Dog Tolerance displays at» the difficulty ranging from “Real Cool" to "Like Wow". The bottom of the screen. colour of the landscape stiI/think the idea of Hover reflects the level, from an icy Bovver is good and I can blue to a scorching crimson. appreciate the strategic ale— Attack of the Mutant ments even thoughlbarelygot Camels is a difficult game to chance to try them out. master even at the lower Th e p a c k a g e be a sts levels, and I enjoyed trying. “You’ve never played a game The tape costs £7.50 and as like this before", and have to far as I know it isn't available agree! At £7.50 you should try on disc. before you buy.

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Pat Cookson


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ASTROCHASE race This fast

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The Object of O'bert is to score as many points as possible by changing the colour of the cubes on a pyramid from a starting colour to a destination colour. You'll do this by hopping Q'bert from cube to cube while avoiding the nasty characters who will try to stop him. A faithful reproduction Of the original. Q'bert requires nerves of steel!

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Based on a top arcade game. Super Cobra provides a test for the most skilled and daring player. Guide your helicopter gunship through 10,000 miles of mountains. skyscrapers and subterranean passages. Only then can you pick up the booty and make your getaway. You'll have missiles, coming at you from all directions, determined to shoot you down. The course comprises 11 sections of terrain, each more difficultthan the last,

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MIKE

COOK takes you of the A tar: micro -

tour

”FT the bonnet Of many Formula racing cars and you are likely to see the same engine. OK the chassis is different, the suspension, gearbox and bOdY are all different, but most Of the engines are the same. This is also true with ”personal computers. The microprocessor, the power house of your computer, is the same on many different models. 30 let's take a look at it and see how it Shapes the rest Of our machine. There are two microprocessors WhiCh 9° to make the vast majority Of computers the 280 and the 6502In the Atari range the 6502 is used. This is the same microprocessor as used in the Apple ii, Pet, BBC and "Electron, to name a few. They all share the sameengine. A beginner is often puzzled Why they don’t all share the same software. Well the answer is simple. They all have different electronic "bodies" wrapped round them,‘just like the racing cars. This makes software written for one machine totally incompatible 1

r

i

i ‘

-

With any Other machine. Let's see how this comes about by looking a little deeper into the structure Of the ~

6502. The 6502 microprocessorwas first manufactured by MOSTechnology in theearly'705soitis nowwellover10 years Oid- However that does not mean that it is out of date or Old so—called as some experts think. The processor was so advanced when it was designed that

technology,

only recently has technology been ableto makefulluseofallitsfeatures. It was designed as an improve— ment on the Motorola 6800 and made some radical changes. The

.

on I

3

conducted house power a

improvement which was to prove the key to its success was not the power of its software instructions but the ease in which it could be made into a system. That is, it could be made into a computer with the addition of very few extra chips. This made it the natural choice for early computers like the Apple (yes it really did exist) and the Apple ii. Eventually the company that made it were bought out by Commodore, the makers of the Pet. Given this foothold of popular computers using the processor, quite a number of people became very pro?cient at programming it and so they chose it for the next generation of computers. This was possible because the software instructions the processor obeys have turned out to be remarkably powerful. These instructions are known as theinstruction set, and ultimately govern the power of the machine because everything the computer does must eventually be broken down to these basic instructions. The fewer instructions you need to expressa problem the faster the machine will 90. These instructions are very simple, involving operations like moving data from one place to another or adding up two small numbers. Most real things you want to do need lots of these "mini" instructions. Take, for example, a program to print “Hello" on the screen. It is likely that this would take about 20 instructions. To see why this is so we Will need to look at how the microprocessor views the outside world. To a 6502 the rest of the world looks like lots of different pigeon l

holes or memory locations. it can only cope with one of these at a time. It signals to the electronics surrounding it which location it wants to access by setting the address of the

location

on 16 signal wires. Each signal wire can be in one of two states, with a voltage on it (5 volts) orwith no voltage on it (0 volts). We call these states one or zero. Yes, 5 volts is called one! You see, if we called it 5 then that would imply there was 4, 3, 2 and 1.

These voltage levels cannot exist

in the circuit. The circuit can only be in one of two states—that's why we call

it

a

binary condition.

As there are 16 of these address

signal wires there

are a lot of combinations of zero and one that they can be in. In fact if you work it out this comes to 65,536, or as we say in the jargon 64k. This is because 1k is 1024, a sort of baker's dozen version of 1000. So anything connected to the microprocessor must fit into this 64k of address space. The wires that signal this address are known collectively as the address bus. Up till quite recently 64k was a vast amont of memory, quite over and above anything that was practicable or affordable. remember in 1978 getting a board for one of my memory computers containing 4k of memory which cost twice as much asthe Atari 800. Even so was impressed at how cheap it was, as it representedquite a big breakthrough at the time. Nowadays you can get 64k of I

I

memory

injust two chips,

so you see

'—'—__+ May 1985 ATARI USER

55

'


____——-___

that technology has only recently cau ht u with the ca p abilities of this

micipm‘éessor. The microprocessor examines the memory locations by means of eight signal wires. These carry information to and from the locations in the same sort of binary (one and zero) signals used on the address bus. As these wires carry the informa-

tion or data they are known collectively as the data bus. 80 if the microprocessor wants to look at a memory location it puts the address onto the address bus and reads the contents off the data bus. Conversely, if it wants to store some information it again places the address

on the address

DIEEEEEEEEEEEEED

Mum—mm

“.m..mn.-......

Stack. Pointer

m .

A

—-

m

5

m

i

mm The

Figure l-'

Status Rfeqister

—_‘_’_‘

6502 registers

bus and the

data it wants to write onto the data bus.

instruction but before thatinstruction

operations have to

is up to the electronics surrounding the processor to service its needs by taking or placing the data on the bus. 80 the processor sees everything simply as memory locations. All the devices that make up the computer have to be allocated their own unique address or range of addresses. This applies to the keyboard, the screen, cassette recorder, joysticks and whatever else goes to make up your particular computer. If designers choose to put these components in different places, or have a different mix of components, then inevitably software becomes incompatible. As well as the external memory locations, the processor has inside it some internal memory locations. These are called registers, and each one is not given a numbered address but a name. Admittedly they are not very imaginative names, but they suffice.

is executed the program counter is

these.

incremented to point to the next instruction. This can be complicated bythe fact that a complete instruction can be stored in one, two or three successive

The X and Y registers are known as index registers and are used to point to other memory locations. This means that the program can calculate the memory locations to operate on instead of them being fixed when the program was written. This gives the instruction set most of its power. The way the address of memory to work with isarrived at is known asthe

It

They are calledA(orthe accumulator) X, Y, PC (program counter), S (status) and SP (stack pointer). Each has its own

for. The program counter is the only 16 bit register, and it is used to hold the

adggzssioof tchisne?sinCSJtrtuctiotn. Lhe gddress buspand fetchesu thzndgta irei

that location. This is in the form of May 7985

contains the information concerning how many other locations are involved. In this way the program counter looks after itself without any intervention from the programmer. If any data needs to be moved or manipulated then the accumulator is used. There are instructions to move data from a memory location to the

‘ ‘r

.

,

use and every

instruction that the processor can execute involves one or more ofthese registers. They are shown in Figure l. Let’s take a look at what they are used

55 ATAR/ USER

memory locations. The first part of the instruction

a c c u m u ato r a n d fro m t h e accumulator to memory. Data cannot be moved directly between memory I

coded

derived from

addressing mode.The 6502 has quite few of these and they are at the root

a

of its power. The stack pointer is a bit like the program counter, only it points to an area of memory used for temporary storage. It is restrained in that it can only cover 256 memory locations at a fixed address. This register looks after itself most of the time and can usually be left alone. The status register is differentfrom the rest in that it does not contain numbers as such but a collection of bits. Each bit has its own name and

significance. Whenever any operation takes place the individual bits in the status register change to reflect it. Suppose, for example, we subtract two numbers and the result is zero, then the zero flag (single bit of the register)

would be set. The point is that all the conditional While data is in the accumulator it instructions work off this status mean register. For example, if you want to ganbe manlipulaézdaThlsbcan Skip a section Of code lf two numbers bits, s?anragdeqr?e hgvizg landli’viudeuzl the are same, [you would use a instruction set also allows Srlnul'ti D lV Branch If instructlon Wthh Equal in g or d'IVl'd'mg by two. All other causes a specrfied number of address locations.

-

a

be


Hardware

—————————

locations to be skipped if the zero flag is set. This then alters the program counter and causes the next instruc— tion to be fetched from further down the program. The art of using the instruction set to get the computer to do anything is quite involved, and many books have been written concerning machine code

number.

instructions.

programming.

Let's finally look at some of the other features of the 6502 microprocessor. There are three signal pins on the processor which can interrupt the program currently being executed. With two of these signals the program can recover and continue

executing asifnothing had happened. are known as the interrupt

signals.

The simplest unrecoverable inter— rupt is the reset. Whenever this is triggered the processor will go to a certain address location and look fora

For the Atari

the

as

fetching and obeying This

is the

restart

arrange for pressing

For example, suppose

we want to

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key to generate an interrupt, and then the program comes to see what key is pressed. Therefore we do not need to waste time looking at the keyboard when no key has been pressed. The video display can generate interrupts to assist the smooth animation found in so many good games. Also the interrupt can be regularly triggered to keep track of time by implementing a real time clock. Well that's a brief look at the engine inside your computer, the device that gives it the power. However remember it is the surroun— ding electronics that make your computer unique and give it the many added features not found on others.

time.

ARTATARI(16k).Creategraphic masterpieceswith

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The reset line is automatically pulsed on power up by the surroun— ding electronics. As the reset is told Where to go bya memory location we say the interrupt is vectored. Two other interrupts are also vectored, the NRC) (interrupt request) and the NMI (non maskable inter— rupt).The difference is that the NMI is always obeyed whereas the IRO can be ignored if the processor has executed an instruction to set a certain bit in the status register, the interrupt inhibit flag.

Computers 30°, 80°“)

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SOFTWARE

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These interrupts on earlier com— puters were ignored, but they can be made to make the computer appear to be doing many things at the same

These

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This number address to start

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OFSOFTWARET/TLES /N STOCK for availability Of the latest tit/es. R/ng

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57


Reaction Mm

*

f

E

*

*

,

1

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e

,

a

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,

cope

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occasional series we shall be taking a Iine-by—Iine look at a short program and finding out how it works. We kick off with a program which uses the internal clock to time your reactions. IN

,

,

,

an

,

f’ 4

j

,

,

fast

«

v

"Press any key to start." 58 IF PEEK(764) :255 THEN com 50 M ”XE 754'255 7“ N“ 75151 88 PRINT "R“:nzlllT(RNlPKOHMBB?BEM

Y ..

OR

80

110

120 130

man com 133

“11,11.-_“

60 70

100

+PEEK(26))/68 159 POKE 761,255 "You quposnmu 1513 plum 4,4":ng :? took ";TINER;" seconds.":? 173 i’Rf?f "another 90"; :IllPllT 55 “no

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if

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THEN

48

198 IF GS(1,1) OW" Ml» GS(1,1) ()"n" “E“ 5070 170 268 GRnPllIcS mam

-

fffffjfff

I:

Dimensions the string G$

and

clears the k;

Present instructions. Waits for a key—press. Clears out the value of the key pressed. Inhibits the cursorso thatit doesn't make the dismay messy. Clears the screen and pick a random number

1000 and 2009 between Waits for a delay determmedby the snze of the random number. If you wait for the same amount each time, people can quickly anticipate the onset of the signal and artificially reduce their reaction time. A precautionary clear—out of the key—press location in order to avoid cheating. Prints the signal letter in the middle of the _

14a TIHER:(PEEK(18)*65536+PEEK(19)*258

188 IF G$( LU—_"

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90

rampant: 19,0:pox5 29,0

If PEEK(764)=255

if

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2040

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no

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screen.

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129 POKE

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110 POSITTON MANN!“

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are your reactions?

“my

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“1le T0 mug,” 199 POKE 764,255

{

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57

10

93 FOR

3

letter appears in the centre":? :? "of the screen, press an ;‘! y keyw? f? "as FQST as you can.":?

38 PRINT "Rhett

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140

150 160

clock to zero 582292158 Waits for a key_press" Looks at the clock locations the elapsed time.

and calculates

Clears out the key—press again. Clears the screen and gives the

reaction

timeAssume that If the reply 170—190 Offer another gO. Y starts With the letter (upper crlower case) then the answer IS "yes”,and if It starts With an N (upper or lower case) the answer is “no". If it starts with anything else, ask the question again. 200 Exits politely.

.

22W


______——————_—Moilbog . AFTER my micro has been sitting undisturbed for some

at on ’ts

a

series of colours is called the “attract mode". This term is a

the

left—over from

joystick canbedamagedhysome feceh?Yhead °|eah'“9 me We

drive

tomers.

Of these (1130 to use any head drives not. cleaning discs.

Atari incorporated this feature, not to attract, but rather to protect the television from being perscreen manently “burned" by any bright stationary image,which could only happen after many .

.

.

hours of displaying

an image.

Atari decided to ensure your screen would be protec— ted by including thisfeature in the design, ThUS, if YOU do "Of press a

d'sc, owners ad_Vise

C'eanthehead “Chasm head ofatape 96's 1h? Gently Wipe the head Withabit

would

of cotton, soaked in denatured .

a|°°h°|1 minutes for Let H 3.0 dry before usmg the drive. _

U ?attr?CtiVB

key for approximately nine minutes (even if you are using

attract

other inputs, for example joysticks), your system will automatically initiate the attract mode and your screen Will begin cycling through a

OW" I haVe desrgned ("V game, hOW can/eliminate the

series of colours. This will not occur

with Atari programs that only utilise input from the joystick or paddle controllers. These have been designed to go into the attract mode only if there is no joystick or paddle activity within the nine minutes. '

CI eanlng

up the heads DO I need to clean the heads

afmydiscdrive?lfso,howdol P. Jones, Bedford. do it? -

O The heads of your Atari disc

QB

W 5

1

, e

l . .

coin—

gzigtr?sgzgeiowgi?c'tt2:13:

.

.

.

New Eltham, London. O This cycling through

es a m’cro

a ma

time, why does my television begin cycling through a series of colours? Steve Temple,

"7th

annoyance ofthe'attract "no when / am Off/Y Inputt/ng the system vra the [oystrck or paddle controllerSP—Quentin

_

These two lines should he included at various p0ints in your program.

in

lF

5mm)

=

15

men

in

ill

POKE 77,0 The first line checks to see if the joystick is in the upright position (in other words, unmoved). |f it is, the program Win remain on this line and, after nine minutes, the attract mode W3“ begin and thus protect your television screen. YOU

have moved the

jOVStiCK' the program will continue automatically to the next line. This line resets the counter SO the attract mode will not begin for another nine minutes.

Desborough,

Brooks,

Northants. 0 All you need to do is periodically reset the attract mode clock so that it never reaches the end of its nine— minute count. To do this, simply add a line with POKE 77,0 at various points in your programs. Since this feature is an important one, you should not eliminate the attract mode entirely. Instead, you should include a routine in your program like the followingpair of lines to determine if 3

o

M a'lbag

Random .

salectlon

get too near as you

could suffer eyestrain. Of course, the knob on the side of to control can be use? VOP'W

eve'V' b'fghtness- AsW'“? thing, moderation is to be recommen d ed. .

TGStlngi _

teStlng l’M a bit confused about m y 800XL’s self test ro rams ' t When 1 ty e Biz/£9a nd l 6112) es t on, any the memor Z l'ttl the ' tlh egreend olérzsnjppearunder ould see 00 says l 5 hBUt Midis/o; 48 . that some Does this mean and Of my RAM rs no_good, should/take mym/crobackto where I bought rt?— the shop J'm Prescot, Mer_Canne|l, sey3ide. ' . YOU' RAM probably lS?t bad because 'f type BYE V°_‘f'

f

-

.

that the funcrandom the to argument it’s a tion can be anything "dummy" argument. If this is the case, why does everyone use RNDlO}? — Shaun VVil-

I READ somewhere

liams, Canterbury, Kent. 0 You’re right, the argument

so you could have RND(99) or even RNDiBLOB). Using a zero is purely conven— tion, but it does have the advantage that it's quick to type, being on the same key as

isadummy

the right-bracket that you need to contain the argument.

some Of are already usmg you 't the “m'ss'hgn eight b‘OCkS are taken up by the Basic language WhiCh is built in to your BOOXL' To see the full 48 blocks use the other method tested, the manual gives by Wh'eh micro on whi‘e Wm'PQ Y°uf down the Option key. h°!d'“9 This will produce 48 green Of the blocks unless some RAM really is bad, in which Will be red. case the block lf th's '5 the case, YOU should take the micro back to the shop where you bought it. _

_

r

about your WE welcome letters from readers about tips you experiences using the Atari micros, and about what would like to pass on to other users issues. future in see to like would ou Y The address to write to is:

It does“ t

.

Mailba Editor Atari Ugser Emma House 68 Chester Road Hazel Grove StOCkpon SK7 5NY

Kevin. To be serious, you shouldn't

_

|f .

IF

used

has been

.

.

bl“In d YOU MY mother keeps telling me that I'm getting too close to the television screen. She says that it willmake me go blind. Is Kevin Black, this true? —

Orpington. ' Only if you keep banging your head on the screen,

user _

group hlnts I

THOUGHT your ”'readers a [few 57,175”, ”Z‘i’ej‘ed uprecentyat the [0,521522: group. . . The clicking sound from the

—-—————'———> May 1985 ATARI USER

\-

59


Mailbag TV each time you press a key can be suppressed with: POKE 731,255 You can turn it back again with:

arses

-

_

To see the set displayed on screen, hold down Control as

0 Thanks for your offering.

When testing

down the rate at which the text screen scrolls, type in:

POKE 622 ' 255-GR ' ' 0 ,

POKE 622,0 alter the speed at

You can

which the cursor auto repeats .

Fast Normal

in from cassette

.

or disc, and

then enter GOTO 32000.

You'll obviously have to the line numbers if they are not higher than those of your program. Type in the first and/astline numbers that you want delet— increase

/ hope VOW readers can ?nd some use for these. David —

Eckersley, Tadley: Hants.

I nstant

ing and the program does the rest instant eradication. You can, of course, use it to delete itself once you have ?nished but the last two lines will have to be removed manual/y. — George Picker—

_

_

eradlcatlon .

to

ab

a ihwfitZE/Ighfed coming f!

hear”ea 0:5 magaZI

I decided to try and be one of the ?rst people Wish you well.

ing, Long Eaton, Nam.

zzmzzzeraz':shims: Breaking being a little ambitious.

thought you might

be

interested in this little routinel wrote to enable unwanted lines to be deleted from a program. The lack of a DELETE command on the Atari is a bit of a pain, and I ’ve found this program (be/owl very useful. All you do is attach it. to the end of your listing by loading it .

.

I

to change the END in line 30030 to RETURN. . With the keyboard.- Not beinga typist, I wanted to do a bit better than the usual two— fingerjob so I've been trying to .

.

graphics mode or wrltes to a disc drive or printer you'll need to execute this routine again in order for the Break key to stay disabled. it you do need to execute it several times, use the Gosub Return command to save repeating the lines. As far as we know, nobody markets a cover for the Break key — if you move quickly you could corner the market! .

touch-type proper/y. The trouble is I keep hitting the Break key by mistake when / mean to hit Return. Why do' they put it (the Break key) so close to the other keys? It would have been much better away from everything else, wouldn’t it? Is it worth me making a cover for the Break key to stop me hitting it, or does someone sell one already? John

Cavanagh, Swinton, '

.

-

messa 9 es

Man—

.

HERE'S a little program that prints out your messages one letter at a time in Mode 0,7 Of

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0,0:poxe 042,13wosnm 2,7:mur IICOITII:POSITIOH 2,4:5109 32050 p one . 042,1z.usxr unecoro 32000 6‘0 ATARI USER

May 7935

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0505)

20 00090105

3° "ME 15:3‘128 40 9°“ “NMHN 50 "E" “an "up“ be" Y

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noises. /t isn’t anything sparkling bill the routine might came in useful for someone.

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Sorry, you can t be oiurfirst the is lebtter T very$32?me e men in ?hezgusaiyts p CONGRATULATIONS on the Your problem Will be solved new magazme—Iheardabout once ou've learned to touch— it at the User Group. Can I be ty e Z0 kee ractisin in the your first letter? I've got a m’za'n?mep‘t’he follyowin problem that I didn’t like to routine incor orate d into cu? admit to the whizz kids at the p ro g rams vs“! disable yth e group. , Break key so that its acoldental l m a newcomer to comput— use wont jump you OUt' ing and am having dif?culty 1° “=PEE“15’ 20 IF PEEK‘16)(128 THE!

a

30050

THE. EDT!) 30030

POKE

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_it also noticed that any inverse V'deo characters also blinked away quite merrily, which should give readers a hint about what you’re doing. If you want to make this into a subroutine, don't forget

To turn it to normal, use:

9 cursor

1535+1,x.1_l+1.com 30010 IF V‘8959 THE! “-“““5“’ . I“ ? II 8” MTQ".EID NU“ 104,182,6,160,0,132,205,100 ,19,159,8,133,206,159,7,32,92,228,95,7 2,138, 72,155,206,240,39,230,205 30060 0070 165,205,197,206,208,25,169, 0,133,205,155,204,208,10,159,2,141,243 ,2,133,204,76 ' 59 ' 6 ’ 169 ' 0 ' 141 ' 243 10 87 0 00m 2,133,204,104,170,104,76,98 l228r 169r 2, 141,243,2, 76,59,6,—1

To slow

Super fast

15 IF L? 30020 30839 30840 30050

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use:

In

30000 7:0:IZO:RESTORE

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POKE 73°r1 POKE 7303 POKE 73°15

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g a as my cursor on the screen so I came , up With this routine to put one on the Atari. / V9 had a gal?" /00k round and this machine seems to be the only one without. P.

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no

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IAM a BBC Micro owner but my son has anAtariand/quite

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Graphics

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i5.51?”

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6502 See how the chip at the heart of your Atari works without even opening the box.

”ii

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Take a closer look at this simple reaction time program, then use it to see whether your own reactions are up to scratch.

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variety of add-ons and software

Take out a subscription for Atari User —ata special introductory offer. Or buy this month's disc of listings.

46

WELCOME to the first edition ofAtan' User— the exciting new magazine for the whole range of Atari micros, written by Atari users for Atari users. For years now we Atari aficionados have known that Atari's tremendous

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Now many more discerning micro users are waking up to this

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models can only benefit users of the established range of Atari micros. Certainly,Atari User will be catering for all Atari machines, old and new. Each issue will be packed with informative features, full length listings, hints and tips, hardware and software reviews, and all the latest news from the ever expanding world of the Atari. Beginner or experienced user, you'll always‘find something of personal interest to you in our pages. Don‘t forget, though, this is your magazine. We're always willing to listen to your suggestions, so let us know what you want to see in our pages. And we're on the lookout for new writers, too. If you have an article or program that would interest us, please let us know. May 7985 ATARLUSER 5


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Profile for Paul Rixon

Atari User Magazine Vol 1 Issue 01  

Atari User Magazine Vol 1 Issue 01 - magazine for Atari home computer users, published by Database Publications.

Atari User Magazine Vol 1 Issue 01  

Atari User Magazine Vol 1 Issue 01 - magazine for Atari home computer users, published by Database Publications.

Profile for prixon
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