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March 7986 ATARI USER

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All the latest developments in the expandlng world of Atari computing, including news from the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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March 1986

Managingfdim’f

Features Editor: TechnicalEdltor: Production Editor: Design Editor: News Editor:

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Cli

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Andre Willey Peter Glover Heather Sheldrick Mike Cowley John Riding Advertisement/Manager: Advert/Sing Sales: John Snowden Editorin Chief: Peter Brameld .

Stephen Williamson concludes the in m a chine code 9 ames serles 0,n,wnt g ”OW 't 5 Up to you'

061—456 8835

Administration: 061-456 8383 Advertising: 061-456 8500 Subscriptions: 061—4800173 Telecom Gold: 72:MAG001 Telex: 265871 MONREF G Quoting Ref. 72:MAG001 Prestel Mailbox: 614568383 Published bv: Database Publ'catm'“ Ltd' Europa House, 68 Chester Road, Hazel Grove, Stockport sx7 5NY.

Subscription rates for 12 issues, post free: £12 £15

£30

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processor from MicroPro.

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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

7

the articles they contain or for any of the opinions expressed News trade distributiom Europress Sales and Distribution Limited, 11 Brighton Road, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 6AF.Tel:0293 27053.

4 ATAR/ USER

March 7985

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advertisements. "A tan' User" and ”Atari ST User" are independent pub/ica— tions andAtari Corp (UK) Ltd are not responsible for any of

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The Knight's Tour is no joyride. See If you can complete it with Malcolm Iredale 5 Horse Play program. .

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An XL/XE version of a classic and a do—it—yourself word processor are the latest offerings from Compute! Books.

29 Mal 1b ag

Five pages of your letters and replies, including the final word those operating system bugs.

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MicroLmk This month's update on news from Britain’s electronic mail service.

30

our on

45

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Order F orm Order everything you need on this handy form.

.

Compiler

Start of a four part series in which Frank O’Dwyer aims to help you speed up your Basic programs by building a compiler.

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This month’s Freebie for Atari User disc and tape purchasers is Daniel Clapson's Winston in the Caves. Eight screens and two levels of difficulty should keep you busy for hours.

38

This is where you'll it first! We read to the States to find out all about go the ea g erIy—awaited me g abyte ST.

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Entertainment After the trlals and tribulations of a day at the of?ce, blow your mind with Colourspace. This could be Jeff Minter’s finest hour.

In this first of two articles Anthony Ginn looks at the background to making music using

an ST.

20 Ad

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Andrew Bennett W|Il help you to make the most of your ST. Th|s month he shows you how to produce four useful effects using Gem from Basic.

March 1986 ATARI USER

5


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CENTRETIME LIMITED PO BOX 201, 1 N SURREY K“ KlsNGSTON-UPgEI-g‘l-IISIAIIII| TLX: 265871 MONFREF G. QUOTE: 72:20030 -

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A flexible Journal which may be used as Purchase, Sales, General or Cash Ledger

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Makes thetedious task of typing Invoices just that little bit easier

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Please send me:l:| PAYROLLDSSPD INVOICERDBOOK-KEEPER require DEALER INFORMATION & RATES El MY CHEQUE/POSTAL ORDER FOR £_INCLUDING VAT is enclosed understand that have a 14 day Money-back Guarantee and allow 21 days for the processing of my order. I

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NAME ADDRESS

CITY POSTCODE

TEL

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ATARI USER

March 7986

.


——————————————i

NEW division of publishers Express has been created to boost the number of available to Atari programs

A

Software ’

users.

Already it has reached

a

number of licence agreements that entitle it to import a range of products from the US, and to get British software distributed in America. A key element in the new venture is Program Exchange, an open invitation to profess— ional software houses and hobbyist programmers alike to join in the venture. ”We see our role as beinglike

that of

a

record company.

publishing software from man sources under one label", says, Jon Dean, former Atari UK product manager who is in charge of the project.

”We would welcome the opportunity of evaluating software from professional and amateur authors. ”Quite often, home program— mers have the best new ideas and approaches to software, but their programming skills are weak. Ifwefeelatitle willfitinto our range we'll work with the author to make that program a

quality title". The venture will be launched officially at the Atari Computer Show at the Novotel, London, this month and Dean says details of the first batch of titles will be issued at that time.

News'—

lA“ NBHING I A“

i

Atari's JACK Tramiel, charismaticchairman, will be the Atlantic with a party of VIPs to attend the Atari Computer Show in London. The ShOW that takes place in

jetting

, '

across

Champagne Suite of the Novotel, H am mersmith, London, from March 7 to 9 is the first Atari—specific exhibition to be held anywhere in the world. “Jack's presence indicates the significancewe attach to it", says Rob Harding, Atari UK's sales and marketing boss. "We see it as the perfect launching pad for some exciting new developments which, for the moment, must be kept under wraps". Atari has refused to comfrom the ment on rumours States that Tramiel will be unveiling a new machine during his i-OHdon stay.

However

other

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exhibitors at the show are not playing it quite so tight-Iipped. The latest survey by Atari User has confirmed that well in excess of 100 new productswill be unveiled at the show. Of these, some two thirds will be aimed at the 8 bit machines the 800XL and the while the remainder 130XE

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Alld JaCk Tramm' Will be there "' for the 16 bit ST range. One company alone will be unveiling more than 40 new products, many originating in the United States. Software Express and its subsidiary SECS has announced the mass launch as part of the group's bid to dominate the Atari market in the UK. The most interesting contribution is likely to be Go Forth, a programming language for the 8 bit machines. Multi tasking, it will be priced at £24.99 on disc. are

Yet another Atari market Silica Shop, will be launching at least 30 new products at the show. Once leader,

again many Wiii be American imports being brought over for the first time under licence. MiCFOdeai has also jumped 0" to the American product importing bandwagon. The has linked Up With company Michtron, one of the USA's main producers for the ST. AS a result Microdeal Wiii be offering first time products for the ST ihCiUdihQ Time Bandit, a multi screen graphics arcade adventure, price £2995 the Michtron Utilities Programmers DiSC Zap, WhiCh enables pro— grammers to look at any part of a diSC or search for Strings Of characters, price £39.95, and Mi-Term, mouse—driven communications software COStihg 549-95Michtron president Gordon Monnier and Time Bandit programmer Timothy Purvers Wi” be at the show to DFOVide advice. him to be overshadowed bY

its

American

connection,

Microdeal itself Wiii be laun— Chihg DiSC Heib. a menu—driven disc recovery program for the ST, COStihQ E29-95“Companies have been pul— ling OUt all the stops to ensure that the first Atari Computer Show will be a truly memorable event", says Derek Meakin, head of Database Publications, the ShOW'S organisers.

"I'm

Jack Tramiel

sure

is

going to be delighted with the results".

IN a special offer for educational establishments, Atari has bundled the SZOST with 500k disc drive, 12in monochrome monitor and mouse for £499, 8 saving of more than £1 50 over normal retail prices. . The same system With 8 14in colour monitor costs than £699 — £130 cheaper the normal retall prlce. A

_

software pack including 1st Word, a window-based word processor, DB Master One, a database, ST Basic and

Logo programming

lan—

guages is included with both packages. Atari marketing manager . . Rob Harding said: ,, The SZOST is making a major impact in education, with umversltles, colleges and

NEW dECk

local authorities already pur-

chasing in quantity. “The

5205T's

leading

edge technology at prices

the with compatible economic pressures in edu— cation today will lead to the machine becoming the stan— . dard educational tool ,, . The special prices to education are in force until the end of March.

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Price IS £35. compatible with all Atari but will be 8 bit machines It is

specially bundled with the 13OXE at a price of £169, according to an Atari source. March 1985 ATARI USER

7

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At ATARI around

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witnessed a dramatic turn in its fortunes during the first financial year with Jack ‘l‘ramiel at the helm. It Is now firmly back ln the black after of $500 million during the recordingadeficit prevrous 12 months. "We took an ailing company, with has

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electronic brush and as much colour as Van Gogh could ever have wanted”. Pictures produced with Technicolour Dream can be flipped into edit mode and stored in memory while being worked on, or dumped to an Epson RX80, FX80 or similar printer and saved on to tape or disc in compacted form. Technicolour Dream costs £9.95 on cassette and £12.95 on disc.

are

.. IN London recently for the Toy Fair was Nolan Bushnell, the

pioneering electronics wizard who started the video revolution in the 19705 with the first TV game Pong and onscreen went on to found Atari. When Nolan sold Atari to

Warner Communications he was prevented from developing any electronic game or

toy for seven years. But now that compete

time

his

is up,

non—

Nolan is

backin the business,and

has set

up a California—based company called Axlon. He has turned his electronic genius to creating sensational new toys. They are?lled with all kinds of unusual electronics that make them do fun things to challenge a child's imagination like A.G. Bear, a high—tech teddy bear that talks backto you in electronic bear talk. Q Nolan, and friends, are pictured above at London Zoo.

—_____

US borrows MARKETING methods

refined

in Britain

are being copied by Corporation in America.

Bundling micros

with software and peripherals to make up attractive packages common

practice

This tactic playedabigpartin helping the British home com8 ATARI USER

March 7986

-

UK

techmques

puter industry out of the 1985 doldrums by stimulating sales.

The lesson

hasn't

wasted

on

whom

bundling

been

the Americans, is

a

to

novel

concept, rarely used. But now Atari has decided to marketthe 130XEin the USAas a "complete starter package"

for

.

“£13522?“ch available for chips

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333555222341235322224

has become in the UK.

ROM.

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artist Marc Graphic Duffield describes the program as ‘the

Atari

as goes on R0 M

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?rs/Tish gggigugfffeue‘igi £1,1ch overcome the Canadians' reluctance to take on the machine. General manager for Atari in

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filters can be used to mix new

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of the ST are "bang on target"and he expects 50,000 will be sold there within the next few months, Atari now has more than 130 dealers throughout Canada and more are being signed up each week.

.

. .5

Al-‘l'ER experiencing initial dif. up an STdealer network in Canada Atari has now resolved its problems and sales are going well according to reports. Limited software availability had been listed as the main reason for dealer resistance to franchise a reements, but the

ficultyin setting

that current sales

9

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ALL the colours ofthe rainbow— and a few million more besides are offered by Technicolour Dream, a graphic art utility for the Atari 8 bit range from Red Rat Software. The program enables the user to create pictures contain— ing the whole palette of 256 colours 16 shades x 16 luminances which the Atari can display on the screen at the same time.

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processing. For $399 the purchaser gets the 130XE with mouse, printer, disc drive and five software titles two games plus Music Painter, Paint and AtariWriter. Atari is also putting together the 65XE a package including which is expected to retail for between $300 and $350. —

dealers at

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A GAME intended to capture all the thrills and spills of the Big Top has been released by Infocom for the 800XL, the 130XE and SZOST.

Ballyhoo is an interactive mystery in which the player takes on the role of

a

small town

..

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kidnapping. Stunts must be tried, beasts braved, clues found, puzzles solved and dangers dodged in order to gain the release of the captive, the owner's daughter. A colourful circus program introduces the characters and is included in the package with balloon, trade card and a ticket to Spangleland. Price $39.95.

_


I VISITING the 1986 Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it was hard to believe it was only 12 months since Atari stole the CES limelight with prototypes of the ST and XE computers. The question then wasz 'What about the software?" One 5205T and 130XE launch later, this year’s CES Atari stand was

— slower

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— ded distribution plans for the SZOST in the USA meaning non—specialist chain stores—but as a strategy intends to limit its most powerful machine, now the 104OST, to authorised dealers only. The 104OST, announced at the show and described as a business system, is similar to the SZOST but contains 1mbyte

dominated by banks of monitors

running video snippets of

is a 20mbyte, 5%in hard disc driveforthe ST,designed to deliver the increased power requirements for most profess— ional applications. One STatthe show had been set aside forlive demonstrations from a guest software house. We OrliY 53W Audiolight demonstrating their latest title marketed by Activision, The StUdiO- Hooked UP via Music the Midi to the ST was a Cas1o C2101. MUSiC Studio, WhiCh runs under Gem, has similar Gapabilities to Island LOQiC'S MUSiC System and can generate some music and has the ability to edit up to 15 sounds orinstruments. Atari once again threw down the gauntlet saying "We Dare You To Compare", and showed soon

software. The only hardware consisted oftwo STs and tw0130XEs and one model each of the 65XE, 2600 and 7800, asked Jack Tramiel how Atari was faring one yearon. He replied: "Very good. We still have lots to do, but so far very |

good”.

Company president Sam Tramiel went further. “With the introduction at CES of exciting new products and programs, we are announcing that this is the ‘new’ Atari, a revitalised company with a clear claim to several market segments. ‘We're the fastest growing manufacturer

By JON DEAN of RAM, a built—in Syn double sided, double density drive, and has TOS on ROM. Software includes Basic, lst Word and Neochrome and the machine is selling in the USA now at $1,199.95 with colour monitor and $999.95 monochrome. Atari also announced changes to the 5208T including a built in RF modulator enabling standardTV sets to be used, and a package price with drive and monochrome monitor of less than $700. A new peripheral promised

of popularly

priced computers and the lead— of video ing manufacturer games". According to Sam programming for the ST is the fastest growing sector of the computer market. with 1.500 companies worldwide producing software for the range. Atari has announced expan,.

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XE using a mouse later this year. A new Entertainment Electronics Division has been setup, and according to executive vice—president Michael V. Katz there is an indication of a continuing and growing market “

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Now the Allen Attack gets under way CONCLUDE this short series by completing our examination of the assembly language listing of Alien Attack. Figure I is a list of the data that is used to create the Player shapes.

Part "l of STEPHEN WI LLIAMSON'S senes on how to

DELAY

machine

\4

§ fé? ‘ horizontal positions of Alien 1.

the current

I

and

vertical

'

.

Pl’Oduce your

The shape of Alien is plotted in the Alien player stripe (38144 to 38158 indexed With Y). 1

OWN

1

code games

_

_ Because machine code operations are very fast compared to Basic 3 delay routine needs to be incor—

Alien Attackto slowthings down a little. This routine decreases theXregisterfrom 100 to 19times, a total of 1881 cycles (99 x 19).This is similar to the Basic routine FOR DELAY : TO 10 NEXT DELAY. The address 39082 stores the number of cycles which is set initially at 20. This number is altered at various points in the program to increase or decrease the timing of the delay. So setting 39082 to 150 during the ship explosion routine gives a much longer delay, as the Atari counts through 14751 cycles (99 x 149). porated in

1

:

1

SHIP 0 Lines 320 to 390 control the movement of the ship.

_

The current vertical and horizontal

coordinates of the ferred to the X and

ship Y

are

trans—

registers.

_

increased or decreased according to the joystick position. The numerical values of the joystick positions are the same as used by the Basic command STICK(O). X and Y are stored in the ship vertical and horizontal stores to

record of the new ship provide positions. The X value is stored in 53248 to set up the new horizontal position. a

The data for the ship

design

(see

Figure l) is stored from address 37888 to 37904 (indexed by Y). A 0 is put into address 37887 and 37905 (indexed by Y) to erase pixels previously plotted at the top or bottom of the ship. ALIEN

1

0 Lines 400 to 480 handle the movement of Alien 1.

_

joystick has been moved. If moved then the X and Y registers are March 7986

0 is stored in 38142 and 38159 (indexed with Y) to erase pixels previously plotted at the top and bottom of the Alien shape. The accumulator is loaded with 1

whatever value is held in address 20. Address 20 is part of the Atari clock system and the value held in this address changes rapidly. This is used to provide a pseudo-random number and thus plota random flight path for

Alien 1. Many arcade games suffer from the fact that few or no random elements are included so that, after playing for a while, you learn to anticipate the movementofmonsters or alien spaceships. In Alien Attack the flight paths of the Aliens conform toageneral pattern, but by using this routine it is impossible for the player to predict at what point an Alien will change direction. By performing an arithmetic shift left (ASL A) on the accumulator the carry flag is set or not depending on whetherbit7oftheaccumulatorison or off. The carry flag is checked it will either be 0 for off or for set and if not setYisincreased to provide a new vertical position for Alien 1. The horizontal position ofAIien is checked to see if it has reached the right hand side of the screen —

The Alien colour register is cleared to see if it is dark red (53) which has been indicates that the Alien is not plotted hit. If hit then Alien and the program exits from this 1

1

Address 632 is checked to see if the

72 ATARI USER

l

4

W .\

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1

subroutine. X andYare loaded with

1

1

,


o

MachineCode

——

SHIP

legitisszsd?’cissgazette.1

direction flag

held at

208

is

changed.

_ similar check is made on the left hand position and if.the Alien has there (coordinate 50) then e direction ?ag is changed. X is reached increased or decreased according to the direction flag. A

_

I" ... .....Il. ... ... I... -

1

The updated horizontal position

minis. aidg'iiirfii‘f??z

the Alien coordinates stored horizontal and vertical stores. are

ALIEN

in

is

i 1

2

0 Lines 490 to 559 handle the movement of Alien 2 in the same way as Alien 1. The only difference is that instead of the ASL operation to create a pseudo random number the LSRA (arithmetic shift right) operation is

performed ALIEN

in line

540.

ll. I.-

24

°

...

24

.. ..

60 60

.

==

.

I

66 189 155 189 155

-

189

129

..

III ...

24

similar arithmetic shift operation to but of result, Alien 1, the. instead acting on the vertical coordinate, acts on the horizontal coordinate to give a different type of random flight

pattern. FIRE 0 Lines 670 to 740 handle the firing of the ship missile.

_ is

checked to see

if

the

”3°; 2523223321323th epi’ég‘ié‘iis?aél bytes to avoid creating a new missile.

The ship missile fire flag (store 1536) is checked to see if a missile is already

,

——

2

======

I... - I .... . . .... I l

.

.

I

-. III

. ....

186

214

.

.

186

214

I

.

..=-= ....

219

186

. 2: 214

.

I

186

214

..

.

I

146

24 36

==

....

-

60 66

ALIEN

1

.‘65 l I II . .. . 102 . I... l 66 . .. . 102 .. ... . 36 II III lw ... 60 ..- so 24 II. I.24 ... ... 16 III I... 24 ... ... ... I. 36 . .... . 66

231

2 305222550L‘12965e‘28621'23?”

Address

III ...

. ......

ALlEN

3

646

.

1

ALIEN

=.. .. ... .

The vertical position of Alien is checked to see if it has reached the bottom of the screen. If so, Y is loaded O ready to start the Alien off with again from the top of the screen.

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a

.

...... I III. . .. . . . ... . . I. I. . .... II II

3 129

. ... ...

I . . -

.. ..e

66 102 126 90 60

24 24

l. II

36

.

56 36

Figure l: Ship and alien shape data March 7986 ATARI USER

73


on the screen. If on screen then no further missile can be fired and the program jumps 25 bytes to avoid the new missile creation routine.

_

dropped. If the carry flag is clear then no missile is dropped and the program jumps 26 bytes. If the carry flag is set the start position of the Alien missile is set to the current Alien position plus 2 so that the missile first appears on the screen immediately below the middle of Alien 1. 1

1

A2 is added to the horizontal position of the ship to give the horizontal coordinate value of the missile so that when the new missile is plotted it will appear in the correct position above the ship. The horizontal position is stored in the ship missile horizontal register (address 53252). stored in addresses 37630 and 37631 (indexed with Y) plots a pixel on the 1

ship missile

_ loaded in the Alien missile flag store at 1538 and the vertical coordinate stored in 1539.

A 4

is

1

if the Alien colour register is dark has (53), and therefore Alien

stripe.

1

red

1

Store 1537, which holds the current

=r _

vertical coordinate, is checked to see whether it has reached 4, which means that the missile has gone off the top of the missile

ship

screen.

=

so, the missile need be no further and the program

4

If

\__‘\/

plotted exits from this routine.

{w

_ A

1

is

plotted

stripe for the

in

the player

ship

missile

(indexed

decreased so that the missile will move up the screen the next time the program reaches the fire routine. with

Y).

f",

missile

Y is

The value of Y is stored in sound channel pitch register (53762) to give the missile sound effect.AvaIue of 170 sets the volume for sound channel 1. A zero in address 53768 gives pure sound. 1

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the vertical position of the missile has reached 4 this again means that the missile has gone off the top of the screen and the missile flag at 1536 is set to 0 to allow another missile to be started. The sound channels are also switched off if the missile is off the If

screen.

BOMB 0 Lines 750 to 910 handle the movement of the alien missiles.

similar routine to that used to determine the flight pattern of the aliens is used to provide a random number (0 or 1) and this decides missile is whether the Alien

'

1

74 ATAR/ USER

March 7986

1.

AME”

3

0 Lines 860 to 910 deal with the Alien 3 missile in the same manner as that of Aliens and 2. 1

COLLISION

missiles

and the ship.

_ During the development of the program it was found that player pixels were left plotted at the bottom of the screen. Instead of revising the alien and ship subroutines it was simplerto addline 930,aroutine that clears the bottom of the player stripe of any debris that has gathered there. Because machine code is so fast, short routines make no discernable difference to the speed of programs. It is often easier and simpler to add a routine to solve the symptoms of a bug in the program rather than spend a long time hunting through the program to find the bug.

mrssrle.

been destroyed, the program jumps 31 bytes to avoid plotting the missile.

A 4 is plotted in the Alien missile stripe (37647 to 37649 indexed with missile. 0 Y) to create the Alien erases the pixels previously plotted at the top of the missile. Y is increased by ready to plot the missile further down the screen the next time this routine is reached. Y is stored in the missile vertical store

_ If the ship has not been hit the program jumps to the kill subroutine to find out whether the ship missile has hit an alien.

_ All the sound registers are cleared.

1

and checked to see whether it has reached 240 and is therefore off the bottom of the screen. Ifso the missile flag is set to 0 and Y decreased so that the missile stays off the screen and a new missile can then be

plotted. 0 Lines 810 to 850 handle movement ofthe Alien2missileinasimilar fashion to that of Alien missile. The new missile is dropped ifthe carry has 1

been

previously

set

from

line

760.

2

0 Lines 920 to 1080 control the collision between the aliens or alien

This line checks the collision detection registers to see whether the ship hit by an alien or alien has been

ALIENZ A

Alien

_

/

1

7 0

This means that the Alien 2 missile is dropped at a different time to that of

150 is stored at address 39082 to slow down the delay routine. The ship colour register (704) is loaded with 55 to turn the ship red. 64 is stored at address 36878, 144in the channel 0 volume register (53761) and 255 stored in the channel 0 pitch register (53760). This combination provides the basis for the white noise explosion sound effect. The X register is stored at 1544 so that it can be retrieved after the delay routine has been executed. A loop

1

i

i

7


decreases Xfrom 144 to 128 to run the explosion sound and flash the screen background colour between in address red black. 53 stored and 710 gives red and 0 gives black.

The formula for calculating the colours to put into colourregisters is value = colour * 16 + brightness.

from 144 to 127 to create an explosion type sound similartothatof the collision routine. The delay timer is not that changed so the game-halts only briefly whilst an alien is hit. The colour register is indexed be so that the Alien that has been hit will change colour to red (53). Whenever the program returns to the Allen plotting routines, a red alien Will be cleared off the screen.

150 290

4200 2392

g:

661112

1000 1080 -

mm_

63 “21“? 2“ 40 “t" 03 2281“ 7177 02 650 5637 660 2545 670 4399

-

Initialisation operations to re-run the game after the Ship “as bee" destroyed. .

'

_

.

_

.

_

.

_

.

These

.

ship.

Clears the sound

_

registers.

_

,

clearing routines.

and

the PM data stripes. .

Clears

Alien

and missile

stores are cleared.

The collision detection registers are cleared and the delay timer reset to 20. ‘

1060-1080

lines

7“

handle the increment of

Stores 1547 to 1549 hold the character values of the score (16 to of16 is characterOwhen 2.5).Avalue d|sp|ayed on the screen and 25 |s character 9. The score can increment routine be thought of as Similar to the procedure that we go through when first learning to add up to 3 digit numbers. For example, a score of 123 means that3 is in the 1scolumn,2 in the 10s column and in the 1003 column. Score 1549 keeps track Of the ls, 1548 the 108 and 1547 the -

top of the

screen

(address

24660).

KILL 0

Lines

collision

1

1003-

Store 1546 which holds the number of lives left is reduced by 1. If no lives are left then the subroutine return address is pulled off the stack by the use of PLA, PLA and the program returns to Basic. 0 clears the lives left indicator at the top of the screen and, according to how many lives are left, diamonds (character 96) are displayed at the

1090 to 1220 handle the between ship missile and

aliens.

if the value of the 13 has not reached 25 (or score 9) then the 1s are incremented by and the 10s and 1005 left alone. If the value of the 1s has reached 25 (or score 9) then the 13 must be reset to character 16 (a 0) and the 10s incremented by one to give a score of 10, 20, 30 and so on. 1

If both the ls and 103 have reached a value of 25 (equivalent to character 9) the score is 99, 199,299 and soon and both the lsand the 108 must be set to zero and the 1005 incremented by to give a score of 100, 200, 300 etc. Finally the 13, 10s and 1005 are t° d'Sp'ayed at the m" “the me" show the current score. 1

_

_ The collision detection registers are checked to find out if an alien has been hit. If not then the program X is returns the from subroutine“. a ”a“ f"°°°“"”9 t° V-V'm which alien has been hit. _

-

”at“

_

_ .

_ stored at 53768 is registers cleared. 64

and

the sound

m A

loop

is set up to

reducethe Y value

1???

170 310

0009 2546

£2 33}? 400 2116 430 1719s

45312397 49 2121 52. 16,55 23: 1732; 4

4647

690 17604

700

5561

2529

760 17006 7” 17927 020 3012 050 000 469 465:

770 000 030

3063

023 0

15941 6606

940 12914 970 3006 1000 7296 1030 14404

950 900 1010 1040 1070 110. 1130 1150 1190 1220

6964 16445 7304 15722

45”

23:

153;

939 960 990 1020 1050 1080 1110 1149 1170 1200 1230

11715 10991 13150 15901 5490 7321 11722 17721 3513 9065 2453

nolives, each

m“

“5"

1090 1120 1150 1100 1210

2537 15030 17310 10032 14393

alien

M”

4693

3”,

15879 7002 16584 3931 11674

waveisfasterthan

the preceding one.

The routine does not allow the delay to go beyond 0. Decreasing a value of 0 in machine code gives a value of 255, and this would havethe effect of slowing the game down to a '

snail's pace.

Ifallthree aliens are hit, aftera PLA instruction the program jumps to the clear routine. The FLA instruction is used in a similar way to the Basic command POP, because we are jumping out of a subroutine without going back to the return address. The program has now completed one cycle of its operation and returns to the control routine again and continues in this manner until all the ship lives have been lost and the game

is over.

Alien Attack fits into just under 1.5k and demonstrates something of What °"’“ be “New” by mam“ code without using a lot of memory. hope that this series of articles has encouraged you to have a go at creating your own arcade games. The techniques have described in Alien and devemped “3°" °""“ be “pi“ to produce very sophisticated games. Not everyone who writes their own machine code games is going to become a millionaire, but machine code programming can be a fun and satisfying pastime. I

All colour registers are checked alien to see if they are red (53).

all aliens are red the timing register at address 39082 is decreased by one. Each subsequent wave of aliens will then be faster. This ensures that the Skill needed to play Alien Attack increases the longer the game is played as, providing the player loses If

3: 390

39: 12231

010 15904

.

1

_

”57

750

-

1030-1040

4

600

-

_

4

5“

22: 1352

1160-1 190

Sets the starting coordinates of the _

_

4:81:23;

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7934

4

Initialisation _

-

-

5“!

300

7526 420 13720 45. 15552 400 7415 510 10315

300 17171 410 9167

.

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.

.

L'St'ng overleaf March 7986 ATARI USER

15


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Code

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76 ATARI USER

March 7986

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yet enjoyable puns. The only slight problem had with the game was again one of logic at the start. It seemed a little odd that rather than use the conventional way of killing people the crew of Snowball suffers from the James Bond villain

Kimberley

I

Final hint: If you want to get out of the mortuary area you should look for a lift. In Return to Eden we discoverthat not only are the occupants of Snowball an ungrateful lot, in that you have been framed for the murder of the crewman and sentenced to death, but that the planet Eden on which your stratoglider has landed has most definitely gone to seed. This game marked Level 9's first

syndrome. This entails using the most convoluted and complicated method imaginable of causing the hero's death. Hence rather than shoot him/her they try to burn you with the engines as they fly past! A little implausible, would say. The engines incidentally, can be avoided by burrowing underground. Other than this fairly minor gripe Return to Eden is byfarthe best ofthe three gamesin my opinion and can be played without having endured Snowball since a resume is included in the instructions. All this has left me rather short of space for Worm in Paradise.The new Level 9 adventure system is a wonder of programming,with the type—ahead an absolute boon. Again find the

graphics a little too Spectrum—like and rapidly turned them off. In Worm you play a citizen in the next century and aspire to the Seat of Power. I'm not sure if the game is a true reflection of Pete Austin’s political leanings a little to the right ofGenghis Khan—butthegamehasa political slant. Doubtless shall return to this game fairly soon when have madea little more progress, but so far Return to Eden is the best of the three for me. —

I

I

* * *

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departure into graphics on several machines, although Atari owners were spared this doubtful privilege until Red Moon. Again the idea

is taken in part from famous sci—fl author, this time Harry Harrison's Deathworld.Yourtaskisto clear your name with the occupants ofthe city of Enoch,both physical and mechanical, utilising the flora and fauna. This gives rise to some devious problems and to some quite dreadful a

I

Q?é?‘lé’llfg IS l 00 k‘mg for

Final note. A couple of licensing deals have been brought to my attention. Adventure International has signed up with US Gold, so we may see Questprobe III at last, and Bignose Software has signed up with S.E.C.S. (yes, that's how pro— nounced it too). They'll be previewing at least one new adventure at the Atari User Show. 0 Next month / shal/ /ook at Adrian Mole from Mosaic/Leve/Qandhopefully have received a g/itch or two. I

new

The ever-expanding ATARI USER needs

more

wrt new

ters. writers and

programmers.

If you

think you

fit the bill can write good English, have a working knowledge of the Atari range and/or feel at home write to us sending a cumculum among all kinds of programs vitae and sample of your work to: can

The Managing Editor Atari User

Europa House, 68 Chester Road,

Hazel Grove, Stockport SK7 5NY.

Do ttnow— ,

this could be your big chance to enter the excztmg world of computer journalism! March 7986 ATARI USER

79


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WORD processing is probablythe first serious application that any home computer will be put to. Like most other micros, there is a glut of word processing packages for the Atari, some more versatile than others, some easier to use, some faster, and so on. The “standard" word processor has for some years been Atari's own Atariwriter cartridge, which is very easy to use and reasonably versatile. It was designed to run with 16k machines, and worked pretty well within those limitations. Now that the 800XL and 130XE, with 64k and 128k respectively, are available, it was only a matter of time before a new program would be written which would use these new facilities to the full. Such a package is Superscript, written by Precision Software and marketed by MicroPro, the makers of Wordstar. Let’s get the bad news out of the wayfirst. Since Superscript requiresa minimum of 64k, and preferably 128k, you can’t use it if you have an old series Atari 400 or 800. It would not have been possible

to pack all of

the features into a 48k machine and still have any space left to store your documents. The other piece of bad news is that it only comes on disc, but, quite feel that anyone who is frankly, seriously considering word process— ing must realise that a disc drive is an I

essential item anyway.

Even though discs are pretty reliable, feel that MicroPro has let the users down badly when it comes to back-ups. When paying this much for a program you would expect either a back—up to be provided at nominal

says André

Wllley

make five back—up copies to be completely safe, the program disc is quite heavily copy—protected, leaving you somewhat in the lurch if your disc is damaged. Come on MicroPro, be fair to the customers who pay your wages! If were to describe every feature that Superscript has to offer, there wouldn’t be enough space in the magazine to print it. The fully ring—bound manual provided is over 240 pageslong,andl couldn't hope even to paraphrase it I

here.

with

is

a

you are told in the licence agreement, that you should always make a back-up before using the as

product. Even

though you

are warned

to

I

printer with which found that all of the international characters print which exactly as seen on the screen means that can at last write André rather than Andre! The same goes for that elusive E sign. New printer-drivers can, of course, be loaded at will, a feature which would allow you to attach a serial and a parallel printer at the same time perhaps a daisywheel and a dot matrix and switch between them with ease. I

I

Once on to the main screen, the

colours of Which you can customise via the default file, just as you can margins, centering and justification, you can start typing. As with most word processors, you just type in your text with no thought of line format, and the only time you need to hit the Return key is to signify the end of a paragraph. Words will be moved down automatically to the next line if there isn't room for them on the current one. I

——_——

6

found that sometimes the time

taken to insert new text within

I

cost, or,

you can even use an RSZ32 printer. Assuming that your printer handles them, Superscript will sup— port the full international character set, dozens of print modes, spacings, character sizes and so on and any special features such as italics or download sets that your printer can offer. By far the most popular non—Atari printers in use are the Epson range, and use an Epson-compatible NLQ

split into sections, starting couple of tutorials on major aspects of the package, then going into advanced use, and finallyavery comprehensive reference section some 100 pages in itself. Unfortunately,despite all ofMicroPro's promises, there is no quick referencecard,aseriousomissionina package of this nature. Once you've booted up your master disc—which, partly due to the copy-protection used, seems to take forever you may create your first work disc. This will be formatted in DOS 2.5 mode, even to the extent of using enhanced density if possible, and will contain your documents and your printer-driver file. The file can be set up from the 11 types provided, including all of the Atari printers, Epson, Diablo, NEC and so on, or customised in any way you wish for your own printer. Unusually It

scr'pt

It will support the fu” International CharaCter set: dozens of print modes, spacings and character Sizes. -

-

.

,

along

document was rather greater than I’d have liked, with frequent four or five second pauses while it freed up some line space.

This could become a little annoytimes like now, when am adding an extra bit half way through a ing at

-

I

___—}

.—._____.__——

March 7986 ATARI USER

21


review.

to other menus

When said long document, by the meant just that. On a 13OXE way, there are two separate text buffers, each 780 lines long (about 64k in total). This review takes up just over I

I

300 screen lines, or about 200 lines by the time it's printed out on an 80 column printer. managed to re—Ioad it five times that’s before ran out of memory about 1000 printed lines. On an

as required. There are 11 options, each of which leads to a sub—menu, and a help function. This can also be obtained at any time by hitting the

Help key.

Selection of items from the menu in two ways. The beginner

is possible

_

I

I

get

on 0 iOOXLytou arlwrl er you abotut measy ge a halfthiatétgg

,

250 printed lines, or about 16k. Working within the limitations of 40 columns of text is normally somewhat tricky when you think that the printout will be re-formatted to use 80 columns. This means that typing a table requiring, say, 70 columns of text is almost impossible. Thankfully, an option has been added to set the line length t0 any size Up t0 240 characters. You simply scroll a 40

columnwindowoverthetext,andany tables can been seen laid out correctly, This is especially useful when you realise that Superscript has a calculator function built in, giving it many of the basic functions of a

spreadsheet. An you need to do is lay the numbers for your table out in rows and columns, and Superscript will total them for you, taking both negative numbers and bracketed numbers as subtractions. It will also allow you to handle ___.__—

The beg’”ner may ?nd some features hidden under the mOSt menu

tltles-

,

can highlight each feature with the cursor keys and hit Return when

they’ve made their Choice- This

procedure can become tiresome very quickly, so you can just as easily type the first letter Of the option. For example, instead Of moving the cursor to Document (Return), then to Load(Return),al|you needtypeisDL. At first you need to look at each new menu to see what your options are, but after a few days you find yourself using only the abbreviations. My only criticism is that a beginner, who is bound to start by reading the menus, may find some features hidden under the most unexpected menu titles. Forinstance, would you really expecta heading of Set to give you a sub-menu including allofthe quite comprehensive search and replace options? Once you're used to it, though, such obscure operations as setting a new margin Select’s main menu, then Layout, then Margins,andfinally Left—become as easy as Select LML. If, after all this, you still find that some common operations take longer than you'd like, then you can always define Macros, which allow you to execute a whole series of command and text entries with a single —

An

oat easy way

ofa tiresome menu-selection

procedure_ _—__——

multiplication, division

’ and

percent-

ages before you even enter the figures on to the page, via a mini calculator feature. If all this soundsa little complicated to grasp, which perhaps it is until you get used to it, there are examples on the disc and exercises in the manual to help you out. Every time you want to use a feature such as the calculation facility you press the Select button to bring up the main menu,from which you 90

22 ATAR/ USER

Marc/7 7986

keystroke. You may wish to put your full name, in bold face, on the key N, for

instance.

The

possibilities

written yourself via Superscript, or merge with a database, such as SynFiIe+ or FiIeManager 800, or any other that can create label—type output files, with one field per line. You may use any or all of the fields at any position within the letter, and even use fields more than once. Fields can be variable or fixed

lendgth—to an even con filijatddreslsIirrteshort?blltla IC Wl a ow llona,w names and addresses to be printed with variable numbers of lines. You can even specify to skip certain

u’fexPeCted

___.__—

each, and perhaps personalised with Dear xxxx. You may use either a file you've

are

endless.

important feature of Superscript is a very powerful mailmerge. This is the abilityto usea Another

standard letter and make the com— puter print multiple copies with different names and addresses on

records. One slight problem in this area is the need to limit the size of your merge file to fit within your RAM,or to link two files with the LINK option. This would preclude the easy use of very long over a couple of —

hundred records—database merges without first modifying the merge file, which would involve you in extra work. Spell-check, of course, is not overlooked, and you can configure your 30,000 word dictionary disc for either British or American spellings. This isa godsend for anyone who has been driven up the wall by the computer politely informing you that you've spelt colour wrongly. You can also add or delete dictionary words whenever you like. Spell check can even give you statistics, such as number of words, number of unique words, number of paragraphs,averageword length,and evena breakdown ofhow manytimes every word in your document has been used. There is no near-miss checking, but that really is the province of much larger systems. A“ Of the normal biOCk manipu— lations are present, which include define block (or column table), move, duplicate, save or delete block, erase character. word, sentence. rest-ofline, full—line, paragraph, rest Of document or whole document. The Net is endless.

You can even have two documents in memory at the same time (ifyou've got 128k) and freely move text between them both, which is especially useful in mailmerge mode. So far, I have 0an listed the major features, but there is SO much more.


“Review

—————' You can set headers and footers to print at the top and bottom of each page (which can contain up to three

parts, left-aligned, centred, and right-aligned). Page numbers are catered for, and Superscript will adjust its settings automatically for you to make odd and even numbered pages have larger central margins and adjusted header/footer settings ready for binding into book form. Movement within a document can be either relative or absolute. You may go to the top/bottom of the text, or move up/down a screen or to the left/right of a line, or forward/ backward by words, sentences or paragraphs. Tab positions can be set both across and down the page. You may use overtype or insert mode for text entry, with hard or soft hyphens and spaces, and use the normal cursor keys (with or without using the Control key the choice is yours). There are keys to change whole —

———

silver lining ‘Every has a cloud, and -

-

Superscript

exception. “—

ls no

I

,

words to upper/lower case, change the screen colours, add non—printing comments (useful), and use multiple levels of indent for sub—headings. Unfortunately every silver lining has a cloud, and Superscript is no exception.

Iwas hoping that this paragraph would not be necessary, because for once received an early beta—test copy of the program, and was invited I

to comment on anyfaultsthatlfound. This I duly did, explaining a couple

ofveryeasy—to—fixproblems,butones which were very annoying in general use.

Thus Precision Software had a full three months to fix them before the final release came out right? was wasting my Wrong! It seems time explaining to them how an Atari works, and thus there are a number of little problems. Firstly, and most frustrating of all, the Delete key’s function is slightly different to the normal Atari one._ When any Atari user hits Control— Delete, he would expect the character —

I

under the cursor to be deleted, but in Superscript, for reasons known only unto themselves, it deletes the character to the left. As an additional function, this would be fine, but when you're so used to the normal operation of your computer it really can be quite annoying. This problem can also cause text to back—up into the previous paragraph— even to the extent of packing two short paragraphs on to one line, or leaving multiple spaces within a document. The re-format option will not correct this, so unless you happen to notice it, anything after the first marker will not be end-of—paragraph printed. The really daft thing is that the manual doesn't even mention Contalks about troll—Delete, and only Shift—Delete, WhICh apparently does exactly the same thing! So why change it in the first place? Your guess is probably as good as mine! Ofcourse,ifyou dofinally get used to it, heaven help you ifyou then want to do some ordinary programming afterwards. The other main problem warned them about is extremely silly, but has several nasty repercussions. Thankfully a slightly knowledgeable Atari owner could spot and correct it quite quickly, but that's not really the point, is it? The printerdriverfiles each contain a character to tell the printer to do a Carriage Return (or EOL, as it is sometimes known). Precision apparently put this in because the Atari range of printers is listed as using the Atari internal code of 155, whereas most printers use code 13. However, what they totally forgot is that any use of code 155 is translated automatically into a code 13 by the Centronics or RS—232 interface anyway. Thus code 13 should never be used as an EOL, because the operating system won’t know that the line has been finished, and will then add its own EOL just to make sure. Thus, at the end of a printout, it adds an extra Carriage Return (of the correct 155 type) when the last Iineis printed. The next page you print will then be one line lower, and so on. On eithera multiple-copy printout,

a shortish mailmerge, each printed one line lower down than the last, until about 30 letters later it starts printing over half-way down the page. Also, the “Store printout on disc" won't work at all, which is really

or even page is

if you want to use to Superscript prepare formatted files for use with another package, such as uploading via a Comms package, use with a database or in with your own

frustrating

programs. If you come across anything like this, and you're not one of the few people using an Atari model printer, try changing the 13 to a 155 in your printer—driver file. Perhaps one of the six or seven ———_

of value for

In terms

6 money

it really cannOt be

beaten,

——

people spoke to at Precision and MicroPro will actually take note of revision before I

tbes’e o t e poincts pro uct IS

Ithe

re easende7xt .

Anyway, regardless Of these few problems, found Superscript to be a generally excellent product, giving more features than any other word processor I've come across for the Atari. Unfortunately, due to the added support being provided by MicroPro, they have seen fit to raise the price to £79.95, which will put it out of the price range of some prospective users, although in terms of value for money it really can’t be beaten. While it may seem to be twice the price of Atariwriter, by the time you've added the cost of a printer— driver and a good spell check program,there’s not really anything in I

it. If all you want to do is type the odd letter, then Atariwriter is probably more can up your street, but I

wholeheartedly recommend Super— script to anyone who is thinking of using their Atari for any sort ofserious word processing, and certainly to anyone who is a little fed up with the limitations of Atariwriter. Anyway, assuming the Delete bug is soon cured, know which word I'll be processor using in future. I

March 7986 ATARI USER

23


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are? Av 90 SPEND THE NEW YEAR IN THE 25thCENTURYAND TAKE A TRIP To PARADISE 9c», 0&9 THE WORM IN PARADISE M} 3&9 0

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use this new system. “The Austin 4 haven’t just produced, in THE WORM IN PARADISE, a new title they’ve created a whole new ball game in adventure technology The latest title offers a 1000-word vocabulary, the most ever sophisticated parser incorporated in acassette-based adventure,and the re?nehave t° merit °f multitasking

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Please send me a FREE FULL COLOUR POSTERwith more details of Level 9 adventures on the back. I enclose a stamped, selfe_: addressed envelope about9” by 6”.* | Please send me THEWORM IN PARADISE on cassette for the 10 ' ATARI 64K BBC 32K COMMODORE 64 ‘_ MSX 64K [l SPECTRUM48K D AMSTRAD 464/664/6128 C or order for £9.95.* Iencloseacheque postal l’A _

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to loystick When you cursor

—v

the fire the press square to desired knight will move button. The and the previous that square will be blacked square occupied won't let you the The program move or visit make an illegaltwice. It will also same square if stuck. You check to see you're at any time on the can leave the program any key '

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— March 7986 ATARI USER

25


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FLlP SlDE From Michtron This REVERSI type game combines Chesslike depth with Checker-like ease for an excitement all of its own! Surround an opponents piece‘and FLIP it over. This simple rule leads to strategies as detailed as or 2 players, 6 your imagination. For 0,

M/Chtron

Arnold grabs a MUD PIE and throws it at the nearest clown, hitting him smack in the middle of the face!! The clowns, who don't think it’s too funny, start THROWING things back and try to catch him!! NOW THE FUN REALLY BEGINS!!! Superbly animated strategy arcade game. Colour Monitor required. ONLY

by Steve Bak. Microdeal’s 2000+ screen arcade adventure with its full colour maps, the Book of Change and Sador; our reptilian hero, has just been acclaimed as the first Mega~game available for the machine. Superb full colour graphics, roaring with and written in 100% sounrfl mac ine code.

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1

levels of difficulty,

Speed option and a Help facility (who said anything about cheating???). Superbly presented and

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DISK emulator uses a M-DlSK From Michtron g if portion of your computers memory to load, store and save E/f/gg24ew ~. data. lT ACTS LIKE A NORMAL DISK-DRIVE 2 £227; has no mechanical parts. M-DISK is ,. BUT t 77“ SOFT SPOOL 2 to 800K of software based and can utilize f: l W W.ww—~"“';G.?z. i, From Michtron I “moms 507 memory (if it is available). M-DILg)K is super fast, 2 252 I ,, 337 ”mm / While printing files (from 5 b I “it, incredibly tough, and costs 3m. a word processor, Tos, etc.) your a: l t 7a] ONLY £12 5}?_ 3 computer is simply dead weight; tied up ”it“ ”n to finish. for the However, 1/2222“; printer waiting gay—W” with SOFT SPOOL, the wait is over!!! 2; /'°”’~' 5 g} 1—H, WW”""’jjfff’,,,1..,.w M" NOW YOUR COMPUTER CAN PRINT AND THINK AT THE SAME TiMEi This software spooler sends p rinted 52jg mew WWW/yiwfw‘ .. WAR! 2 2,777.1. " data to the printer between tasks M Mme/f 2; \ WWW“ 1:5, freeing the Computer for more 512 /"/"/2 777"? ., important things (like playing 2m maybe??) and saves Mudpies “mm“. you literally hours of computer time! An excellent lg utili N and ONLY. l A RAM

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on his own window! Use the Timegates to visit over 20 unique adventuring arnas with over 15 levels each! Explore medieval dungeons, westein frontiers, and future worlds all in one game! Unique creatures and 3-D terrain for each Time, beautiful scrolling landscapes, detailed animation, thrilling sound and music, hundreds of screens: the conquest of Time and Space awaits you! Due out For the Atari ST with color monitor ' Feb 1986

£29 95

M-COPY by

Timothy Purves of Michtron Designed for duplicating program discs, M—Copy minimizes the time to make copies and ensures that the operator will notice 7

7

7

when a CODY fails. After the source disk is_copied into memory just once. all the operator has to do ls DUt m blank d'5_C5-_ M'COPY speeds through d'SK duplication because 't formats and 909'93 only those tracks needed by the program. Instead Of to the wasting time 0” the fest Of the d'Sk' M-Capy "ml/es on for companies COPY'”9 d'Sks next d'5k~ For the Ala” ST a must _

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Micwdea, programs are avallamehom ATARI ST Dealers or by post from

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£12.95

Now the previously mentioned utilities available in 1 money saving Twin Pack. Contains both manuals p lus 1 disk. ONLY

£19.95

UT|L|T|ES by

Timothy Purves from Michtron Keep control over your Atari ST files, even when things go wrong. With an ability to address individual bytes, you can change file contents, change file and volume names, change file attributes, format individual disk tracks, copy individual sectors, restore deleted files, recover data from damaged disks and repair damaged disks. Utilities works with the GEM interface to provide easy, menudriven operations. Changing file contents, attributes or names is just a matter of typing in the new information or clicking on selector buttons. Even restoring deleted files only requires that you inspect data, then click on a button to save or reject it. Sector-by—sector format routines let you gently handle ggilé-by-track 82521332?! For the Atari ST

£39.95

DlSK HELP

by Steve Bak from Microdea/ disk has crashed and you’re not an experienced programmer able to repair it with UTILITIES then this easy to use menu-driven program will attempt to repair the disk and bring back lost data. This program will format a disk without erasing. It will re-write the directory, check a disk and list bad sectors, repairs files with bad sectors so they beome readable even on physically damaged discs. If you use data files on your HELP. Can be used ST you cannot afford to be without DISK With or 2 Single or double Sided drives If your

1

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Post & Packing 75p per order. 41

Cornwall PL25 SJE England 0726 68020 Telex: 45218 MlCFtOD G

TfUrO Road, St. Austell

Telephone:

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WELCOME to the first issue of Atari ST User, a magazine dedicated to the most talked-about computer of the year. When Atari boss Jack Tramiel launched the ST in Hanover just 11 months ago, his rivals trembled. At one stroke he had transformed the image of Atari from that of an ailing games oriented company to one that had to be taken very seriously indeed. So much so that his 16

bit machines are currently poised to dominate the business market and at the same time provide do-it— yourself programmers with

versatile computer they have ever had their hands

entire ST range that Atari ST User has been launched. In the months to come this magazine will play a leading —and vital—rolein. chronicling the tremendous and far-reaching develop—

on.

ments

the

most

challenging and

Today some 1,500 companiesaroundtheworld are producing products for the ST that's the sort of excitement it has gen— erated. It is to better reflect the —

'

ST' ls coming. MIKE —

March 7986

now being planned. the ST you concerns can be sure you'll be able to

If it

read all about it in Atari ST User. So jump aboard. It’s

going to be an exciting, stimulating ride.

I

CO WLE Y reporting

ATARI has announcedthe Big One in the United their first personal computer with one megabyte of memory. To be known as the 104OST, the machine will cost $999.95 with a high resolution monochrone monitor or $1,199.95 with colour. Although it will soon be shipped to the UK just how soon nobody will say the British price tags are still to be worked out. “Don’t just do a direct conversion to work out how much it may cost here”, warned an Atari spokesman. The 104OST is a business system featuring professional integrated design, with CPU, keyboard and disc drive all built in. It is to be offered complete with ST Basic, ist Word (the word processingprogram currently bundled with the 5ZOST), NEOchrome Paint and VT52, a terminal emulator for telecommunications. Because all current titles developed for the 5208T run on the one megabyte there will be no shortage of software to coincide with its arrival. States—side at least, the 104OST is to be offered exclusively for distribution by computer dealers. In a related announcement, Atari in the US has revealed it is to provide a 20 megabyte, 5% inch hard disc peripheral. The SH D-204 claims to be the add—on to deliver the increased power requirements for most professional applications. The 1040 is being viewed by the boys from Atari as the machine to “break the mould" which for so long has linked the company to the games market. "Now they'll realise that we are serious about the business market", says Atari vice States

growing importance of the

president AI Montross. Features of the new machine include its built-in double sided, double density 3%in disc drive and power supply. The operating system the somewhat unfortunately named TOS is in ROM, leaving the full RAM available for user applications. It offers an elegant, professional 95 key keyboard with a separate cursor, 10 function keys and an 18 key numeric keypad. The 104OST also boasts a built in hard disc (DMA) port, a floppy disc interface for external 315in drive, a built-in RS 232 serial port for use with standard modems, and an industry standard parallel port for connection to popular brand printers. The 104OST offers the choice of a high resolution monochrome monitor (640 by 400 pixels) or a medium resolution colour monitor (640 by 200 pixels), with a palette of 512 colours available. When can Atari users in the UK hope to get their first glimpse of the one megabyte monster? Everyone is playing it very close to their chests for the time being. But here are some possible clues, Watson: 0 What major computer event is to be held at the Novotel, London, from March 7 to 9? 0 Where will Jack Tramiel be on those dates? 0 Who has promised to spring a few surprises during the show? Got it? Remember you read it first in the Atari ST User. Meanwhile, the news has also been confirmed —

.

.

3

,


)

weren't even given the chance to choose. But that's the computer market for you. Software houses worldwide are still perfor— ming like whirling dervishes to grab a slice of booming ST market. Atari president Sam Tramiel has just announced there will be a minimum of 100 new packages for the SZOST coming on market during the first quarter of1986. In allthat should make about 250 significant titles availablefor the machine and subsequently the

in the States that the SZOST is to be unbundled. And that means that the Yanks at least will be able to buy a basic 5208T with built in RF modulator for under $400. This one is apparently to be called the 520 STM (M for modulator). But it will also have a the slightly more expensive elder brother with a built in floppy disc drive. SZOST FM Now the FM version is reported to be the replacement for the long awaited 26OST. But at least one reliable source has actually seen a ZGOST case in the Atari UK headquarters in Slough. When the cut price 5208T M (not the FM are you paying attention at the back?) arrives in the UK and there's as yet no indication as to when this might happen It is likely to be welcomed by UK manufacturers like a bad case of haemorrhoids. For at that price there will be nothing on the market to compete with it for power and performance. However just a few recent purchasers of the bundled version might feel a little irate that they

over

“Programming for the ST is the fastest growing segment of the computer market", insists Sam Tramiel. "Over 1,500 companies worldwide are doing serious work on the machine”. Not that this is too surprising when you recall that Jack Tramiel insisted that they bought the development systems in the first place. They don't come any sharper than Atari's chairman. You ask the people at Commodore all about that. They haven't been having it any so good since he took his leave of them.

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range of programs promised by Ariolasoft, Degas Design and Entertainment Graphic Art System has been designed for the Atari ST. It is said to provide a comprehensive range of artistic elements under the control of the computer's mouse, including 16 tools for freehand drawing or painting in a variety of widths, special functions permitting creation of geometrically perfect shapes, and an air brush that colours an area like a spray can. A mirror function makes it possible to create symmetical shapes or reflect an image drawn in one screen location into many other locations. drawn with the or brush can be F’atterns pen filled wrth up to 38 pre-desrgned patterns, plus others WhiCh can be loaded from the program a new

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DESIGNEDto work within the Gem environment of the Atari ST, LaserBase/ST is a new database from Laser Software International. Users can design their database in any way they wish, with little limitation to field or record length. Once all the information has been entered it is still possible to rearrange the original format. Information on the database can be presented in different ways and there are three reporting column, list and mailing labels. options Mathematical functions included provide facilities for totals, averages,transaction or item counts, and minimum and maximum values. Breaks can be utilised to give totals by section as well as grand totals. Searches or sorts can be made by typing in parameters in normal English, and on-Iine help screens are provided. Price: £99. -

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A NUMBER of word processors have been released for the 5205T and a couple of databases, but so far there have been no spreadsheet packages. Kuma Computers is the first company to fill this gap, with its new K-Spread software. A number of other packages are planned, including word processor, database, comms and graphics packages which will integrate with K—Spread, eventually making it the heart of a versatile suite of programs. now on K-Spread. The Let’s concentrate on an unprotected disc, and is program provided the first thing you should do is make a back—up of it- Although CODY protection is necessary for games products, feel that Kuma has got the right idea as far as business software goes. NO one wants to spend £50 0“ something they will need to rely Oh' only to find that they suddenly can't use their purchase because they spilt coffee over the only disc. The other disadvantage of protection is that you can't easily transfer a copy—protected product on to hard disc, something which many users will soon

.

change the size of the characters on the sheet (useful if you're working with a colour monitor), and something called Split. This allows you to open up to five Gem windows simultaneously, each of which you may move, size and scroll independently. The option menu also controls Status setting such as number of decimal places, commas, any leading sign such as E or $, and the manual/automatic recalculation settings. Another of the pop-down menus provides you with File operations. These include Load and Save, Save As, which saves a ?|e under a new want to do. name, and Give and Take. These last two allow Once you have made your back-up, you you to save portions of all of the sheet in a form 0“ double-click and boot your system understood by the other packages in the suite. up S”hply the SPREAD folder. You will then see the Thus you could,for example, transfer data to the word processor or graphics program. directory of all the files Kuma provide the main notes, and various update The main Save routine seemed to contain two programh some to customise files to you printer-driver bugs. Firstly, pressing Return after entering a allow The default sometimes cancelled the save rather filename K—Spread to.yourown requirements. that 'S' the normal system '5 type than it, even though the default mouse executing Epson, printer printer. Double—click on the program file and button was the OK function. For a beginner, and K—Spread will load. especially for someone with a high speed hard Wh‘eh W'u run m mono— The main disc, this could prove disastrous if they thought display, Of the but not |°' chrome or that the save had been completed. The second consists medium res, spreadsheet itself With a number of icons down bug came after successful completion of a save, You can use these to do many hand the the system insisted on telling me “You when Side. left cannot drag a cell on to the desktop", which was repetitive.functions: onto spreadsheet very interesting, but not terribly relevant. the Draglgindg fthe disc All this is fine, but at some point you are going {2:212:53 agidjlhiv?rsgto e c ‘e t e ‘SC save y to want to actually enter some data on to your We “ou told me sheet. At this point feel K—Spread lets itself The eh'y way to open th's symboland-it .The has its is Witha down badly. in order to get the Data Entry screwdriver printer deVice for a °Wh '°°h' and there '3 window to appear you must double—click on the even ciipboard temporary storage. The sheet itself ‘S a W'hdow relevant cell. There is NO automatic keyboard by seen on such programs as entry mode as W't $1531ias{228338025th 81,532 cellls or mos e. gr ye"boxesh, g ViSiCalc, in which as soon as you start to type the “a peop TOS loaded from disc rather than in ROM, you t 3 computer decides whether y ou are .yp'"g still have 100k for our sheets or 130k if ou number or some text, and acts accordingly. remove the desktop? accessories ' which shoyuld |

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-

m52:22.termites-tartsighs?iii: or ve ?mShed Is not enough to Return after you movey diSposal. This means that ou ma enter the info and return you to the sheet again. down left or right by clicking, on theyarrows aunhl For that you must click on the mouse once more. scroll beSide the sheet. You may also move Put together, this means that you must move bars W'hdow and change its size in any way you select with the mouse, then type on the and the want to move quickly to a given cell, W'Sh' h keyboard, then use the mouse again to finish. lf you has a menu the options are entering a lot of assorted data, this could you GQTO pull—down the home Wh'eh be extremely tedious, and it is a serious omission posmon. defaults te command, in a package of this nature that there is no Also included in the options menu is a Text Search operation which will ?nd a given piece of ___________’ text within your sheet, a View option which will '

,

7


keyboard—only equivalent to the mouse operations. The only saving grace in this area is that, once in the Data Entry window, you may complete your entry and move with a Shift—Arrow combination, which will enter the data and move

the direction of the arrow. This removes some of the hassle, but you still need to use the mouse in order to close the window completely. found that a great many other normal features found even in 8 bit packages such as Visicalc were missing. There were very few defined functions, for example. You are provided with MAX, MIN, MEAN (average)and SUM, but no look—up features, scientific operations or financial calculations such as interest rates. You also have no way of fixing title lines, which remain in place even if you scroll the data underneath, or repeating labels which are useful for underlining and so on. That said, if you type a label longer than the current cell width it will overflow for as many cells as it can until it finds one which already has data in. if there is not enough space to the right,a small arrow will indicate that there is more text than can be displayed. Strangely there is no mention at all of this feature in the somewhat flimsy 17 page booklet that accompanies the program. Nor does it inform you that text fields will be highlighted, in green on a colour monitor, which came as quite a surprise. However such things as moving and copying data are so much easier than on other systems. You simply select a cell, row, column or block with the mouse, and drag it to its new location. You may even drag it on to the clipboard for later use, which is very useful since you can’t overlap your source and destination areas, which can prove rather annoying at times. Formulae may be amended to allow for the new relative positions of cells, but unfortunately you can either change all of them or ndne at all— there is no option for leaving some absolute referencesuntouched.Also the program requires you to select relative or absolute mode regardless of whether or not there are any formulae involved in the copy. The replicate function of many spreadsheets is provided in a limited form by the ability to copy a single cell on to a row or column. Most packages of this nature would allow you to scan over the sheet to select your start and end points, but K-Spread requires you to remember the cell referencenumbers in order to do this, which is no mean feat (remember 256 x 8192.7). You must again remember not to copy over the original cell, which is often a little difficult, as the default settings will try to do just this. One very nice touch here is a bar chart which indicates how long a given task will take to complete much better than just staring at a dead screen. Similarly copying, erasing, inserting or deleting rows or columns are all extremely all you need do is double click on the easy row/column header and up pops a menu. Click on in

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the other side of the column header and you can change the column width of either a single column or a group of columns. You may also alter the way a given area of the sheet is displayed. By choosing a cell, row, column or block, and then clicking on it, you can select integer or decimal mode, left/right/centre

justification, leading sign and protection

(whether the system will allow you to change values within that area). The problem with this is that you may only set local values for cells with data in. If the area is currently blank you cannot change its attributes. This can be very annoying if you want to set up a column for entering money, and another for percentages, for example. The only way to do it would be to enter the figures first and then set the options. If you are trying to create a sheet for someone else to use, such as in a business, this could be extremely annoying. When you come to print out your sheet you may either use the printer menu, or drag the sheet, ora block orthe clipboard,onto the printer icon. You may also choose either to print the finished sheet or just the formulae it uses, or portions of either. Options are included to allow page breaks, row/column header inclusion, sending of form feed and other control characters,and also which characters, if any, are used between each row and column. Drivers are included for a number of printers, or you can set up your own to allow for different sizes of paper, print styles, and translation of certain special characters into others more suited to your printer. The overall impression one gets of K-Spread is that it has been designed to be very easy to use for the beginner, and in that it certainly succeeds, as it is quite the easiest spreadsheet have ever had the pleasure to use. However in doing so feel the author has had to sacrifice too much, with a whole set of useful operations missing. Also, the ease of use of a mouse can work against you if you don't provide a good keyboard alternative, as demonstrated by the awkward— ness of actually entering data onto the sheet. In its favour, though, are two major facts. It is available, and as of now if you want a spreadsheet, this is the only one available.Also the price is only £49.95. For such a product this is very cheap, and compares very well with the pro— jected price of more advanced products such as VIP Professional. Although VlP will probably win hands down on features, it will also cost almost £200. So if all you want is a relatively straight— forward, easy to use, spreadsheet, which has all the bells and whistles of Gem and doesn't cost the earth, look no further than K-Spread. If, however, you feel that .you will need more complex scientific calculations, macros, graphics and everything else a Lotus 1—2—3 clone can offer, perhaps you would be better off waiting for the final release of VIP Frofessronal. Thats always assuming you're not in any great hurry, of course! l

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Atari ST User 8

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WITH his shoulder length hair, faded blue jeans, crumpled kaftan and dangling ear-ring, Jeff Minter's appearance is sufficient to give a retired colonel apoplexy. The fact that he likes to sleep “crashed out" on a stuffed Yak also does little to suggest he's not a throwback to the Flower Power days of the Sixties. Not that the 23—year-old programmer minds. He revels in being described as the last of the hippies in his home town of Tadley, Hants. Such is his fascination with that era that he is still carrying the psychedelic torch. Only Jeff doesn't turn on with drugs but relies instead on the ST. As the driving‘force behind Llamasoft, he has created Colourspace as the “ultimate mind blowing experience" on the machine. What it really is is a brilliant software toy, a kaleidescope of controllable shapes and colours which demonstrate the graphics wonders of the ST to the full. In its original 8 bit version it captured the imagination of no less a person than Leonard Tramiel, son of the Atari chairman and himselfan executive of the corporation. Colourspacefor the SZOST took Jeff Minter some five months to write “getting up at the crack of noon most days and working until the early hours of the morning". What is the difference between the two versions? ”It's like stepping out of a mini into a Ferrari", says Jeff. “The thing is that the ST isjust zowie". (He even talks hippie.) "With the 8 bit you have just 80 pixels across and 92 down. But with the ST you have 320 across and 200 down to play With. That's why I've been able to make colourspacethe first video narcotic. And that's zarjaz” (roughly translated that means nothing less than perfection). Jeff Minter is so sold on the SZOST that he is convinced that it will not only run away with the business market but also capture the top end of the enthusiasts sector as well. "it can't be

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72

are obviously brassed off and need to spit. But when I visited Peru one llama even rolled over to let me sit down in the shade. Now that can’t be bad". it was his latest cuddly colleague, the yak,

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to Midi

music

WHAT is the connection between Pythagoras, Jimmy Hendrix and two sockets on the back of the Atari 5203T? They all represent great breakthroughs in electronic music. Confused? Then read on. Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician, was strolling past a blacksmith’s shop and noticed that the hammers seemed to be playing a tune as they beat on the anvils. Fascinated, he investi— gated, weighed the hammers and discovered that the note they emitted was proportional to their weight. A hammer twice as heavy as another produced a sound half the frequency. Phythagoras had discovered the connection between mathematics and music. Musicians in the 19305 used his principle to produce the first electronic music. When an object vibrates, the air around expands and contracts, producing a wave form which is often audible. An electrical current flowing through a small strip of metal, via a modulator, causes the metal to vibrate and produces a simple sine wave. A sine wave looks like a cross—section of a corrugated iron sheet and the voltage applied to the metal strip determines the frequency. The experimental musicians of the ’305 used this principle to produce a steady tone with a variable pitch. This was called a sine tone generator and was the first electronic synthesiser. The sound you hear if you forget to switch off your television late at night is made by a sine tone generator. In the 19508 modern classical composers like Stockhausen and John Cage composed music generated electronically, rather than performed by musicians. In the 19603 rock musicians began to experiment with electronic music. Feedback and wah wah pedals featured in the music of groups like Jimmy Hendrix and The

Who.

the 19703 transistors replaced valves and both computers and musical equipment cheaper and more compact. Groupsappeared on stage with portable analogue synthesisers. A note played on the keyboard of an analogue synthesiser is generated electrically and then filtered and modified by a number of switches which split and mix sounds, determine the “shape" ofa note by assigning a predetermined wave form, and designing the envelope of a in made

sound.

The envelope has four characteristics—attack, often decay, sustain and release (ADSR) represented graphically. A synthesised drum sound has sharp attack, swift decay, low sustain —

and

swift release. A synthesised violin has “slow higher sustain, slow decay and slow

attack,

release.

Differences between sounds with similarly shaped envelopes, such as a xylophone and piano, are defined by the shape of a note's wave. Analogue synthesisers can also mix and split signals and filter sound. Their use in music was popularised by musicians like Klaus Schultz of Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno of Roxy Music. The next breakthrough in electronic music technology was the digital synthesiser. The low cost and wide availability of silicon chips in the late 19705, which caused the micro boom, inspired a revolutionary method of recording, generating and proceSSing music. It was no longer necessary to generate sounds by passing variable electrical voltages through small pieces of metal. Music could be stored and created in a computer program. Music played by an instrument connected to a digital receiver, such as a computer, would be recorded in digital form, in the memory. The process also works the other way, allowing notes to be defined digitally, amplified and played through a music system. It was no longer necessary to twiddle buttons and slide knobs to generate a sound.

-

Anahgue synthemsers worked on a principle developed by Robert M009 Digital synthesisers also allowed the wave of a particular note to be defined. The old analogue synthesisers were limited to a few pre—defined wave shapes. They worked on a principle developed by Robert Moog, called subtractive synthesis.A rich wave pattern, such as a Square wave, was generated, and the unwanted elements of the sound were filtered out. Digital synthesisers work on a different principle. They build up a rich sound by combining simple wave patterns. Records and tapes could be recorded directly from a master program, containing the music'in digital form, rather than from a second or third generation audio tape. This had the effect of removing a producer or composer's reliance on a shape

15


studio performance The ability to define and edit a note’s wave shape also enabled sounds, not available on conventional instruments or analogue syn— thesisers, to be produced digitally. Another feature of the new technology wasits ability to sample sound. Any sound can now be recorded through a microphone, passed through an analogue to digital converter, stored in the computer’s memory and regenerated at any pitch. You can connect a microphone and keyboard to a digital recorder, burp, clap or break a glass into the microphone, and then playatune with notes of the sampled sound, on the key— board. This is made possible with software which first analyses the envelope, waveform and other features of the recording and then converts it to the notes represented by the keys on the keyboard.

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was a|ways .

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to Gourmet msnuments to dl?erent complners '

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D'g'tal technology enables you to burp Beethoven Symphonies In the privacy Of your own home, should you so desire. Live music recorded this way can be reproduced,as if played live, and controlled from a sound desk, altering time, volume and 3° °“- Unwanted sounds can be removed and new sounds added. It was always difficult to connect instruments to different recorders and computers.There were problems when recording several instruments simultaneously. They slowly slipped out Of time With each other. The need to adopt a standarised method Of communication became ObViOUSInstruments and equipment spoke different languages and translation was required. A standard digital interface was needed. The largest Japanese and American manufac— turers of digital equipment got together and, in 1983, announced Midi, the Musical instrument Digital lnterface. Computers and musical instruments from different manufacturers would at last talk the same language. A variety of instruments and recording equipment could be controlled from one computer. A factor which influenced the final design of Midi was cost. Home computer owners and musicians should be able to afford it. The manufacturers looked at both serial and parallel methods of transmitting data. Serial transmis— sion was cheaper than parallel, so it was decided to send data in series. This has led to one of the main criticisms of Midi, that the transmission system is too slow when controlling several musical instruments simultaneously. Information inside a computer is stored in bytes, Each byte, in an 8 bit computer, contains eight bits. In parallel transmission the bits are 16

sent down separatewires, simultaneously. Serial transmission sends all eight bits down the same wire, one after another. Only two wires are required, one to send and one to receive. The system has a method of checking that the correct signal has been sent by receiving parity error messages through the second cable. Midi has a special chip, the Motorola 6850 AClA—or Asynchronous Communications lnter— face Adaptor chip. Its job is to package the eight bits of data before they are transmitted. it does this by adding two extra bits of data to each byte of information, making a 10 bit byte. Midi transmits at almost 3,000 serial words per second. Information is stored in a bit as either a or 0. A 0 is placed at the front of the byte and a at the end. This 10 bit word is then transmitted, either to the computer from the instrument, or to the instrument from the computer. If the computer is talking to more than one instrument, each instrument will have an All instruments will receive all the address. instructions, but will only accept messages sent to their individual addresses. Otherwise a drum might try to play a guitar solo. The address is transmitted in the eight bits of data. To transmit, receive and convert data both the computer and the musical instruments must contain an AClA chip. These chips are expensive, and to prevent them being destroyed by a surge of power (during a heavy metal number perhaps?) they are opto-isolated_ Two unconnected electrical circuits exchange signals using photoelectric cells and act like a valve to protect 1

1

the chip. Using a powerfu| home computer as a digital recorder, with its ability to talk to low cost musical instruments, brings the means to create high quality synthesised music within reach of the public. Atari was the first manufacturer to recognise this potential, and equipped its new ST range of computers with Midi.

A computer has the potential of shaping and EdItlng mus": -

-

-

If you look at the back of the 520 you'll see two plugs, marked Midiln and MidiOut.Without

Pythagorasthey wouldn't be there. The 5208Tis first home computer to have Midi as standard. It is possible to plug any Midi interfaced instrument directly into the micro. Signals to an instrument or tape recorder are sent through Midi Out, and signals from an instrument are received through Midi in. The exciting thing about involvingacomputer in the Operation is that its processing power has the potential of shaping and editing music in the a

Atari ST User

-


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March 7986

compose music directly the screen on_ Without mastering the skills of

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way that a word processor manipulates words. Once the music is in digital form inside the computer’s memory it is at the mercy of the software. Asfarasthe computer isconcerned it's just another load of ls and Os strolling leisurely through the memory. A software designer writing for a Midi system can use graphics to display music on the screen. Music notation has been more or less standardised in the West for the last 400 years. Music is written down on five line staves and divided into bars. The number of notes in a bar depends on the length of the note and the time signature. Common time is 4/4, or four beats in a bar, a waltz is in 3/4. Many short notes can fit into one bar and a long note may stretch over several bars. it’s not the purpose of this article to go into the theory of music notation. If you don't understand it, sit down with an instrument and any beginner's music tutorial, and you'll grasp the basics within half an hour. It is not difficult. The hard part is learning to play the instrument. Most music software displays music graphically, in the traditional method, using the standardised notation. Some software will tidy your music up. If you put too many notes in a bar the extra notes will be moved into the next bar. There are various ways of displaying and manipulating the music. Some programs allow you to plug in an instrument and play a note, which is then displayed on the screen, on a five line stave.This is relatively easy to do. The task becomes more difficult if the notes are to be recorded in real time. Besides having a pitch, a note has a length and differentlength notes havedifferent symbols and different names. if a computer is to record the duration of sound it must have a way of timing each note. If you hit one key ona piano keyboard,or one string on a guitar, you play a note. if you hit several notes simultaneously, you play a chord. Some synthesisers only allow you to play one note at a time. These are called monophonic synthesisers. More sophisticated machines can cope with more channels. These are polyphonic syn— thesisers and can play chords and multiple same

to

of.

«93 ‘lj /\/'\ Mr % A j '

It is possible

melodies. Connecting a micro to a monophonic synthesiser will not turn it into a polyphonic '

synthesiser. The way

a note is played also affects its quality. Sometimes a pianist bangs his finger down hard, sometimes gently, creating two

sounds from the same key. Some synthesisers have this facility. It is now possible to compose music directly

the screen without mastering the skills of playing an instrument. This is one of the great advantages of electronic sound. It is no longer on

'

Thanks to Pythagoras, Jlmmy HFndl'IX and the A113" 520 ST -

'

necessary to play an instrument to make music. You can put notes on to staves with a mouse, cursor keys or even alight pen, define the timing, and get the computer to play the music. As well as the pitch and duration ofa note, the computer can also define the tone. A quaver at middle C looks the same on a sheet of music whether it is played by a violin or harmonica.The tone is determined by the factors we discussed

,

earlier, envelope shape, wave shape and so on. A good program allows easy definition and editing of these features. Newly defined voices and instruments are then assigned melodies. The resulting composition can be edited on screen. The computer sends the music to a digital to analogue converter which converts it to an analogue voltage. This is the type given out bya record or tape deck and can be played through an amplifier and Speakers in the same way as an audio cassette. Pythagoras, Jimmy Hendrix and the SZOST have made it possible to fill your home with your own electronic music. in a later article we will look at the software that is on the way to help you do this with your ST. My thanks to Andy Bridle for help with this article. 77


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answered. Until your questions start flowing in, l'll spend some of this and next month's column discussing a couple of commands in Basic that allow you to access the very heart Of the Gem operating SVStemOn pages

057 and Of the STS BaSlC C_156_ have noticed you two strange may manual

send y our ST queries to; ANDREW BENNETT ' Ata" ST user' _

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CHARACTER HEIGHT lets you place text in a variety of different sizes. The required height is poked into PTSIN+2. The normal height is 13_ See the demo program for more information. CHARACTER SLANT gives you the ability to print characters sideways and upside down. The angle, in the range 0-3600 (tenths of a degree) must be poked into lNTlN. However, only 0, 900, 1800 and 3600 will produce any resull- See the demo programTEXT TYPE a”°W5 YO“ t° Print “3“ 5” different ways The ways available are bold, italic, underlined,shadow,outlined and grey. You on the screen

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METACOMCO PRESENTS ITS NEW RANGE OF SOFTWARE FOR THE ATARI ST: A SET OF POWERFUL PROGRAMMINGLANGUAGES FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WRITE PROGRAMS FOR THE ST.

P

MA 6170 AMT/Will?

£49.95

high specification macro assembler, complete with linker and screen editor. Assembler is a fundamentallanguage, useful for all kinds of programming particularlywhere speed and compactness are important.Essential for all serious programmerswhowant to exploitthe ST’s full potential. A

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b MM PAM/ll

£89.95

A powerful Pascal compilerdesigned to meet the exacting ISO standard. This Pascal is already widely used on the Sinclair CL and the CommodoreAmiga. A fast, single pass compiler, generating native code. Full interface with GEMDOS libraries allowswindows, icons, menus, etc. to be programmed using Pascal. Complete with screen editorandan extensive user manual.

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£99.95 The well known Lattice C compiler: a full Kernighan and Ritchie implementationwith comprehensive libraries of UNIX and utilityfunctionsand including a completeinterface to GEMDOS features. C is the ideal language for program development. ALL METACOMCO’S LANGUAGES FOR THE ATARI ST INCLUDE METACOMCO’S POPULAR SCREEN EDITOR, AND A DETAILED MANUAL.

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Metacomco are leading suppliers of systems software for 68000 based microcomputers. As well as thesetitles forthe Atari ST, Metacomco haveaverysuccessful range ofprogramming languagesforthe Sinclair 0L, now widely used throughoutthe world. Metacomco was also chosen by Commodore to provide the operating system and a suite of languages for the new Amiga computer. DE

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26 PORTLAND SQUARE, BRISTOL B82 8RZ, UK. TELEPHONE: BRISTOL (0272) 428781

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THE ATARI ST

MORE INFORMATION

LiGNATURE— March 1986

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Answers

AN awful lot of the letters I get regarding the more technical aspects of the Atari could be answered by one

book Mapping the Atari, from Compute! Books. It is a complete guide to the memory locations used inside the Atari. Everything is there operating system control bytes, colours, player/missile graphics, sound, input/output, even Basic pointers and variables are covered. —-

Atar

DON T really know whether to review Speedscript, also from Com— pute! Books as a book or a piece of Software, as it really is both and neither.What you get for your £12.95 is a 14 page book which boils down to the complete listing of a quite reasonable word processor, written completely in machine code.Two sorts of people Wl|| find this book useful the ones who just want a good, cheap word processor and don't mind a bit of typing and those who haVe pfObablY got a word—pro or two already, but are fascinated to know how they work. The book works on both levels, as it contains an easy-to-type form of the program (in Basic, with extensive checksum error-checking), plus the complete and well—commented .

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q "erles blank functions, system timers, display lists and player/missile gra— phics, connection portslincluding the parallel busland even the workings of

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There is also an alphabetical index to all of the locations covered, so you can quickly find out what the location mentioned in a particular program or article actually does. Last, but by no means least, the book finishes with a couple of very useful programs for XL/XE owners. One will convert your ”buggy" Revision B Basicfitted in the XL range into the improved Revision C, as provided with the XE, and the others allow you to transfer the operating system from ROM into RAM, so that you can try your hand at modifying things for yourself. really cannot recommend this I

assembler listing. The word processor itself is surprisingly powerful, giving you a whole range of simple but flexible commands. You can set all the usual things such as margins, headers/ footers, centring and justifications, page numbers, underline and special printer features, simple macro keys, .

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2

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But this book is much more than

just a list. Many of the more complex locations have quite lengthy explan— atory notes, and there are lots of programs to show you how to use them. Some locations have as many as three or four pages given over to them, and while such a book can never be a complete tutorial to the workings of a computer, it’s about as close as you could possibly get. Even better, there is nowa revised edition, which also covers all of the locations changed for the XL and XE (even the aborted computers 1200XL). These are listed in the form of a very large appendix, so you can see at a glance which locations refer to which type of computer and everything is listed in both hex and decimal. Other appendices cover vertical

MAPPING THE AER]

h ose

0

2

and more. You also

have search/replace, plus full text movement commands and move/delete by letter, word, sentence or paragraph. The whole thing works in a very attractive re-defined character set using Antic Mode 3 for greater clarity. An interesting idea then, hampered by the amount of typing involved (about 30 pages of mainly numbers), but of great use to the

book too highly, so ifyou feeltempted to write in to us asking "What does location xxx do?" or “How do use POKE 560?", then you may find that a copy of the XL/XE edition of Mapping The Atari will answer all your questions (and more). My own copy is never far from reach, and is almost certainly my most—used reference work. While it may seem a little expensive to some of you at £16.95, think you'llfind it worth every penny. I

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Go out and get one today, and start

finding out a little bit more about what's going on right under your nose.

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wants to pick up some tips. If you just want a no—hassle word processor you may prefertolash outa

little bit more and get one that doesn’t require quite so much work. André Willey March 7986 ATARI USER

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MicroLink's electronic mail facility. it will also embrace and

speech recognition technology in help? ing the disabled to communiv Cate the outSide world. speech

synthesis

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Microelectronic resources manager Bob Allen said: “We that their increased hope ability to communicate will v.ont lead to luller lives. 1

at

but guarantee them a Job. least it will give them a lighting chance in the marketplace".

Interestingly. the disabled people involved in the project aren'tthrilled atthe prospect of telecomputing from home. “At First we took the traditional view that this would mean independence forthem'l said Allen. "but they told us it would remove the social dimension from their lives and tend to isolate them. "So we have compromised and will arrange for them to attend centres where there is a human element combined with the working environment".


'NE

55“

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HAVE you everwishedyourAtari and dirty" routines which can be ran faster? Perhaps you have. captured in about a screen's worth of of which Basic. Also the limitations a program written redefines the character set or a producing the compiler in 16k have vertical move routine for player meant that many Atari Basic features are not supported. missile graphics. Programs like Floating point, strings and arrays, these really show up the Atari's for in written example, may not be used —these when of lack speed are the main restrictions. Basic. You also lose the comprehensive An obvious solution is to write the routines in machine language error checking offered by the Atari there are few error checks when using Atari Basic's USR function use an isto One compiling, and fewer still when waytodothis facility. assembler program such as Atari's running your USR function. This limitation is easily overcome Assembler Editor cartridge. the lot of a This program performs by testing your routine thoroughly machwith associated work using Atari Basic and only then, when donkey ine language programming, but it you are certain that it is correct, requires that the programmer not compiling it to get the benefit of only be thoroughly familiar with the machine code speed. Initially you will find that many 6502 CPU at the heart of every 8—bit Atari but also with the machine itself things cannot be done using the and with its operating system. compiler. But you will also find things that cannot be done without the This is especiallytruewherecolour compiler. graphics and sound are concerned. Take sound, for example. The An alternative solution is to use a is which a called provides an exact replica of compiler, compiler program the Atari SOUND statement, but capable oftakingaprogramwrittenin Basic—or PascaI,C, or what have you without range checking on the four sound parameters. Remembering and directly producing either machine language or assembly Ian- that compiled programs execute many times faster than normal Basic, guage. it’s possible to get new sounds from In the latter case the assembly an is assembled the Atari by varying the sound using language assembler program as discussed parameters much more quickly than is normally possible. above to produce executable mach— Other benefits of the compiler are ine code. The trouble with compilers advanced control structures such as is that they tend to be expensive,and named procedures and REPEAT they usually require a disc drive and more than 16k of memory, thus UNTIL, and keywords to deal with leaving 400 and GOOXL owners out in timed interrupts. These are extremely the cold. powerful and open the door to that is, The program presented in this concurrent programming series is an exception to all the above. two programs appearing to run at It is a compiler written in Basic which the same time. Over the coming months shall be compiles a language similar to Atari WhiCh Basic into assembly language presenting the compiler itself and can then be assembled to produce a also discussing the Basic which it its special features and USR function using the ready—to—go compiles shall also be giving Atari Assembler Editorcartridge oran limitations. equivalent assembler. example programs which demon— All of this can be accomplished strate the compiler's usefulness. For now, type in Program l—Iisting a 16k Atari with cassette using just and save it drive. If you have more memory or a starts on Page 33 disc drive your life will be made several times onacassette ordisc all by itself. This is the compiler prosimpler, but it's by no means —

...

I

i

speed up your programs even

on

_a

6k Atar| WIth thls Basic Compiler , by FRANK O DWYER 1

-

-

essential.

gram.

Before you get too excited should point out that this is not a professional software development you can’t produce large system programs with it. it is primarily intended for “fast I

To use it you will need the compiler library, a set of assembly language routines which the eventual USR function will require. 0 / shall present this next month, and also explain how to use the compiler. March 1986 ATARI USER

31


MIDI

SYNTHESlSER INTERFACE

ATAR'

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J

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we

mtroduced_ our check-sum program Get It Right. had PUb||3h o rt eeari e r 9 ames. c ecV:—sum s ;equhe3t3Ito “Le lt seems that some OfYOU arestlll struggllng to debug some Of these. 30 here, by DUb|lC demand, are some check sums for several of the ear'v games- “ Seems that me people haven't (Wife grasped whatto .

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39 50

02 05 09

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LINE

Ct‘SUH

27“ “13 56,1

10“

1670

20“

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4050 4080 4110

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“80

3053 5237

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2010 16276

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90“

21“

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207° “929

3000 17185 7854

3.30 I.“

19“

3090 4000

7681 0991 3337

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3349 4126 10061

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4130 5020 5000 7000 7030 7050 0000 0040 0070 9000 9030 9050 9090 10001 10004 10007

CHSUH

March 7986

'

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.

programType RUN

C

.

.

Return.Get It

and press

progra m and puta correspon dmg check—sum on the screen.

_

Compare each numberwrth thetable g iven in

th e m aga zin e

a

30

40 70 03 07 90

110 130 190 210 400 430 499 520 1010 1020 1050 1075 1002 1095 2020 2050 2000 2110

LINE

?t on the screen. Fable ave to ora IW|II on g p ro g ram, y ou wi Ibliclzwever, use CtrI—1 occaS|onaIIy to stop the -

.

-

tablefrom‘scrollrng

to restart

|t

offthescreenand

agarn.

.

01mm

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LiNE LHSUN

CFSUH

October 1985

_

short program, the Whole

LINE

0590 5000 1940 5010 4993 12322 5030 3791 5040 4175 13090 5010 13121 5020 1490 0249 7010 5553 7020 4975 5571 7040 5593 7050 5570 4900 7070 5579 7000 1490 5150 0010 3550 0020 5100 3572 0050 5020 0050 4000 5039 0000 4071 0090 9795 14077 9010 17907 9020 5930 14972 9040 0414 9050 0357 14390 9070 5225 9000 19357 4579 9100 1055 10000 15305 14374 10002 13139 10003 10915 9030 10005 15100 10005 14270 11700 —

38 ATARI USER

drive

7:400

102° 1050

.

0 Tape users should rewmd the tape to the begmnlng of the Irsted

CHSUH

—October 7985

sep'embe’ 7985

1910

.

.

v

_AIDER

LINE

WRAPTRAP 1000 1030 1060 1090 2920 2050 2080 2119 3010 3040 3070 3100 4010

.

.

For

I

_ANVAS 4041 1009 0200 5701 4509 5525 7215 5453 0044 3529 1490 1505 1503 11904 2500 5394 11405 13559 13429 7243 4779 10254 4520 12043 4050

0240

the

0 the program from memory Delete by typlng NEW.

10 35 45

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IMO

I'k e t h"? IS.

users

35: ?g 0040 0000

9993

O DISC users should make sure the dlsc Wlth the llsted program IS m the

-

427,

4010 1490 4405 3491 2737 1490 13031 5535 2259 4510

-

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Disk users

01mm

7,“ 72“ 752,

It Right! the Now load-Get mm machlne, taklng note of the Instuc— tions contained in the REM in line

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LINE

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1997 .

Luann

4937 3043 4010 3374 13034 3935 9457 2594 4507 0074 0120 5207 5573 4003 1033 2101 2540 10357 3170 10170 0750 12901 10191 7752 5054 5:00 5 20 1059 7020 2119 3135 71 70125: 3913 9123 00 15175 7200 7410 4749 7510 5005 923 7520 9010 5124 9040 5491 9070 5001 9100 1055 9130 5037 9150 3710 9190 4005 9220 4554 9250 5217 9200 4559 9310 4034 9340 5500 9370 0555 9400 4223 9000 15527

LINE

CH

UH

100 130 1000 1030 1120 1150 2000 2030 2110 3010 3050 3000 4000 4030 4100 5020 5050 5010 5100 5130 5150 5190 5230 5410 0000 7000 7030

2320 2039 4517 5330 4200 4014 2973 4575 5942 0099 4100 4100 10433 5925 1053 0050 1353 2070 10214 10591 10594 10091 10004 0350 4001 9001 2140 4055 71 3039 71:2 5530 73 7210 0 035

7‘29

530;

7500 5170 7700 0739 9020 5794 9050 5095 9000 4490 9110 5555 9140 4240 9170 5327 9200 1055 9230 4925 9250 1050 9290 4920 9320 4032 9350 3951 9300 4035 9410 5104 9900 15421 —August 1985


Check Sum

——————————

,

-

IIIq!!;;i||| III’lllllllIII ‘iiiiilll II|’II ‘||EE!!!! 0 Where a number on the screen differs from a numberin the magazine this indicates a difference between what you typed and whatwe printed. In the case of a REM line such a difference probably won't be impor—

tant.|nthecaseofaDATAstatement, adifference could befata|.AfuIIstop instead ofa comma might cause the whole program to crash. 0 Use the Return To Basic option in Get It Right! and type NEWA Then reload the program as follows .. ENTER"D-TEST 0180 users .. _.. ENTER C. Tape users ;

_

.

_

Correct the offending lines and the again (see e t e prograrny ou’ve ma jecoad step above) -

save

.

corrections successfully, you should be able to RUN the program now.

GUY FAWKES LINE

casun

10 3552 33 5529 40 5199 150 4737 300 3682 330 3045 500 035 1015 5723 1051 4499 1090 12571 1515 5909 1550 7947 1700 3970 4530 5955 4520 2845 4700 19402 4000 1490 5010 5041 5045 4944 5070 2302 5090 3957 5120 1007 5151 1490 5155 4128 5100 4702 5210 3944 5240 3972 5270 3972 5300 4758 5340 3734 6010 4719 5030 3770 6045 1345 5150 1493 7010 5,12 7050 11745 0000 5054 8079 6368 8110 5532 822° 7°73 85“ 6207 8520 5759 8575 1946 8590 20132 0520 19105 8800 1498 9010 2322 9000 12053 9095 2054 9500 4550 9520 4055 9559 4859

LINE

20 35

cnsm 4908 5593 5047 4503 5349 4769 5366 10833 7543 5626 9500 7903 4704 0510 10457 14900 4544 11551 2274 1730 5059 1345 3940 4120 1972 4752 3936 3972 3246 4686 3856 3709 659 1490 7119 1345 3491 2737 1498 15933

50 150 310 350 1000 1020 1055 1500 1530 1500 4500 4500 4540 4710 5000 5020 5050 5075 5100 5150 5153 5166 5190 5220 5250 5280 5310 5350 6020 5035 5050 5200 7030 7060 0040 9080 8120 8240 8510 4“! 3555 4518 8580 10003 8600 18832 0540 7105 ”00 5512 9.20 7317 9005 5955 9194 7123 9505 3124 9530 3124 —

LINE

30 37

in

In

1:sz statement error as prtgzsaebfjsgseéhne somewhereln the DATAt h atis b'elng read by the mentioned line. -

-

_

.

.

.

Finally,

,

re

you

If

new

have

-

to Get It lt from the

-

Sight!2nd ma e sure ece m er issue, entered .

.

Y

ou see

-

-

_

things up'“

November 1985

LINE

{i E";:}~" ~1i§

cusun

5 2915 0 3222 30 10047

50 12272 90 20930 105 12379 130 21907 150 14529 190 19392 193 2504 200 15557 270 14142 300 4455 330 10715 350 15115 390 20730 410 20415 430 13359 450 9254 490 14090 510 15135 550 17997 550 11957 590 11523 520 10502 550 14350 500 5202 710 14570 740 1490 020 5153 350 12057 000 15744 095 5375 910 0319 1005 3117 1913 2095 1040 10745 1110 17711 1140 13000 1170 17524 2010 9031 3000 10001 3020 0095 3040 9944 3120 2357 5005 17710 5015 3950 5510 11919 5540 12795 5570 13907

LINE

cnsun

5

2302

10 10019

40

4007

70 20450 95 15022

110 140 170 191 194 210 200 310 340 370 400 419 440 470 499 520 555 570 500 530 550 590 720 000 030 050 090 900 999 1010 1020 1050 1120 1150 1100 2020 3005 3025 3100

sue

5005 5020 5520 5550 5539

14155 10294 14427 2594 2509 0547 4457 4402 9025 15255 2139 7941 12379 12950 4545 15440 15025 15290 0773 9322 11009 997 7304 17937 3972

“11

20233 19097 035 19990 1297s 9730 14205 7525 0755 9031 3117 14375 4012 12337 14357 15072 13233 14000 5459 —

LINE

cnsu~1

7 3450 20 13205 50 15531 00 17752 100 15343 120 0537 150 25050 100 10443 192 2599 195 2514 250 15117 290 4439 320 19540 350 19100 300 0153 405 19371 420 12200 450 14050 400 11040 500 17105 540 15744 555 0775 500 7075 010 0773 540 1522 570 1335 700 19959 730 4020 010 19420 040 117.7 an 1534 091 1545 905 5023 1000 5500 1015 4227 1930 19325 1100 10555 1130 1051 1150 2405 2000 15333 2030 7734 3010 20331 3030 21735 3110 9522 59.1 5743 5010 17745 5500 13934 5530 13549 5550 14079

October 7985

lN

PM

1“ n»,

10

7:

100 130 150 190

22.

”Filx\/

cnsun

31.

187.

1900 1730 1950 1990 2020 2050 2000 2110 2140 2170 2200 2230 2250

229.

J 0

7.101 cnsun

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£25221. 4.“

1912

00 17435 110 1924

90 120

3901

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1

4902

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13:

200

22:

47“

31“

340 4123 370 1909 400 17075 430 0100 4“ 4523 490 2201 520 4410 550 9145 540 570 700 730 750 790 020 050 000 910 940 970 1000 1030 1050 1090 1120 1150 1100 1210 1240 1270 1300 1330 1350 1390 1420 1450 1400 1510 1540 1570 1500 1530 1550 1590 1720 1750 1700 1010 1040

LINE

4031 13751,

250 10074 200 5520

22:

PONTOON

t’HSUH

100 I!“ 200 3910 320 4714 400 5924 1010 10184 1060 12995 10?! 9368 1505 849! 1540 7215 1510 11541 4505 S970 4510 4045 4550 1946 4720 14512 5005 5970 5040 6027 5060 1297 5000 3953 5110 5533 5100 1347 5154 4003 5170 4116 5200 3972 5230 3972 5260 4782 $298 3880 5320 3946 6000 4525 6025 942 5040 4143 6180 18869 7000 4515 70“ 4010 7200 1498 0050 0403 8100 3841 8200 14732 02“ 2207 8515 N20 8570 7718 8585 62“ 8610 25550 0700 1940 9005 1855 9.4. 8768 9090 11290 9200 1490 9510 5393 9540 5001

.

the correction WhICh we published in ~ issue. To err IS human the January it takes a computer to really screw

.

$\< 1555»;

3§§§§51

gigs: :::‘.*:’:~

LINE

Typically the line referred to in the error message contains a READ _

“I

“""~:z-:Z':T—-..

arose.

3931 4100

"—

However, If |t still wont run you ll have to go back to step three. It's also worth pointing out that although the micro might say something like ERROR 8 IN LINE 30, this doesn't necessarily mean that thereisamistakeinIine30itse|f.This is just the line that was being executed when the error condition

.

.

$5555!!b[jglif?f'csgzlizr ‘7,\\

2322 1924 17212 19532 15534 5030 1937 14707 1937 5741 10591 9397 0455 17354 1913 4533 3501 11527 0075 2904 3007 2273 21572 3740 3272 14900 5910 15533 11714 5742 15273 4040 13554 5425 10730 14752 15524 15020 21551 17553 3501 0091 16765 2009 5535 1355 2935 1490 5121 5103 3772 1634. 0709 12599 3033 0045 8792

4244

210 13425 2“ 4702 270 10002 300 0520 330 2272 350 4901

23010192

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53.

2“.

550

4710

223 550 500 710 740 770 000 030 050 090 920 950 900 1010 1040 1070 1100 1130 1150 1190 1220 1250 1200 1310 1340 1370 1400 1430 1450 1490 1520 1550 1500 1510 1540 1570 1700 1730 1750 1790 1020 1050

223;

188.

1910 1940 1970 2000 2030 2050 2090 2120 2150 2100 2210 2240 2270

23“

4 33: 1

$33

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70010222

010 040 070 900 930 950 990 1020 1050 1000 1110 1140 1170 1200 1230 1250 1290 1320 1350 1300 1410 1440 1470 1500 1530 1550 1590 1520 1550 1000 1710 1749 1770 1000 1030 1000 1890 1920 1950 1900 2010 2040 2070 2100 2130 2160 2190 2220 2250 2200

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Augusr 7985

March 7986 ATARI USER

39


SERIOUS BUSINESS on SERIOUS HOBBY OUR SERVICE FAST

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NOT having seen the movie of the same name, I cant say whether or not The Goonies bears any resemblance to it or whether knowledge of the film makes the game any more enjoyable or easier to solve. say solve, for what we have here is yet another of those running—jumping-climb— ing platforms and ladders arcade games where the basic idea is to puzzle your way ,

I

through several

different

screens.

Not again,

hear you cry.

l

‘Fraid so, but at least The Goonies has one novel redeeming feature which prevents it from being written off as just another in what has become

now

a

long line of

played-out game scenarios. In order to solve each scene to get the two on—scre e n ch 3 ra cte rs (Goonies) to work as a team. Goonies are children, by the

you need

h

/f}: '

. . -

Only one Goonie can be you operated at a time simply switch control to the other by pressing the joystick fire button. Unfortunately this unusual and interesting game-play concept is almost wasted here because the other elements in the game—contents,graphics, animation, colour and sound are nothing to get excited about. The Goonies' goal is to reach One—Eyed Willy's pirate ship and grab the treasure. To do this, the Goonies have to progress through eight scenes of underground chambers, in each of which puzzles have to be cracked and the exit found before they can progress to the next chamber. Each scene has to be separately loaded in from cassette or disc when you reach it and you can only ever

.-

a book by its That's the case with Zone X from Gremlin Graphics, and one of their first Atari products. I was a little apprehensive about the quality of this game, but I soon changed my mind, when it had loaded. The object is to collect plutonium that has been left scattered around in a mineshaft. Why in an NCB mineshaft? Well according to the inlay card mankind has produced so much plutonium that all the government storage tanks are full so mineshafts have been used to store nuclear waste. One of the shafts had been

infiltrated by destructive sub— versives who attempted to seize the plutonium. The whole operation went wrong and plutonium was scattered all over the mine. The player'sjobis to collect

robot guards which walk around in very unlogical directions and laser doors open and close when they want, making your job more difficult. When you find a piece of plutonium you have to pick it up and then take it to a container. Since this stuff is

radioactive, the longer you

hold

it the weaker

your

radiation suit becomes. You can replenish the suit's resistance by picking up time icons which lie around the mine. If you wish to go through a green door you will needa key, Keys lie about and can be reached with relative ease. Another helpful object is a mat, which can be used to block off robots. Be careful when using these, because if

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start at the first scene. Once you‘ve lost all of your lives, you must reload Scene1 in again, a real pain if you're using a cassette deck, since this also means rewinding the tape to the correct position. Various hazards along the way for the Goonies include

all the plutonium and dispose of it into containers. Easy? No way. There are

rm

~-

-

members

of the dreaded

Fratelli gang, lava pits, rocks, steam, bats, cannonballs, bullets, flying skulls, slime and a giant octopus. The Goonies move around by running and leaping, climbing and boun— cing, the latter on trampolines. '

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you place the mat to the wrong side of your man, you will end up stuck in a room with a bunch of robots ready and more than able to kill you. Once you have safely dis— posed of all of the plutonium you must leave via the "out" door which you must first locate. Bonus points are gained by picking upquestion marks, but stay away from any that are in awkward positions — they ain't worth the bother. Most players will find Zone hard enough to start with. It will teach you how to avoid 1

and time

whose

rhyming couplets

should help you in solving each of the screens. The game is worth playing if only to try out the twin character feature, but don't expect anything earth—shaking from it or you'll be disappoin— ted. Bob Chappell

th 2

enjoy

robots

Although the teamwork concept is a good one, the game is sadly let down by rather blocky and uninspiring graphics, while the use of sound and colour is both limited and unexciting. Included is a hint sheet

all your

moves.

Each zone is different and Since the screen scrolls in all

directions they take

a

long

time to master. The game allows selection of Zones 1, 4, 7 and 10. Each then has a difficult level 1, 2 or 3. This gives a possible 30

s t ory

zones.

variables which what you will do include doors which close Other

determine

behind you and never open again and air locks which may release robots enclosed in an adjacent room. There are warp doors, crumbly rocks, and spades in the game, but I failed to find these. When you are killed, either by being run over by a robot or running out of time, your man will explode and his remains fly off the screen. The game has a high score table, but I hardly ever scored enough to get on it. In all a nice offering that

should

keep the best of occupied for many

gamers weeks. Zone X is available on 48k cassette or disc, and retailing at £9.95 and £12.95 respectively.

Richard Vanner March 1986 ATARI USER

47


——

——————

c h op s uey ops ba r a.“ co Ilec t Io

FUNNY hOW simple ideas can

quickly turn into big money spinners. Take compendiums,

for instance. Walk into any

n

record store and as sure as my name's not K-TeIVOU're bound to find at least half a dozen albums Of past compilation smash hits. Once upon atime you could buy a set of classic board games in a box. Nowadays those old compendiums of Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Draughts and Nine Men's Morris have been supplanted by a technologically more advanced phenomenon the computer games compen— dium.

These

collections

popular, and it's not hard

10

compilation

Of

see

WhY-

A

quality games

offers

Chop Suey, Kissin'

astound—

lngly good value for money-

The action starts when an evil cleric called Wistrik steals the seven crowns of the middle kingdoms, and yes, you have to recover them. This Wistrik isn't stupid. He has hidden the crowns among his 13 dungeon strongholds— but he made one small mistake, he only locked six of the dungeons. The otherseven contain either keys that open the remaining locked dun— geons or crowns for you to collect. A menu shows dungeons that are locked, completed or unentered. When you select a dungeon the screen changes 42 ATARI USER

March 7986

smooth

Impressively

ani—

racing and leaping through a succession of obstacle-strewn streets in a gallant attempt to reach a damsel in distress. Caterpillars, frogs, bombers and bats are just a few of the hazards.

Cousins,

Hijackand onelhavenotseen before, Firechief. Chop Suey iS a top notch Kung FU contest where you pit your martial arts Skills against a human or computer-con— trolled Opponent.

ln Hijack you

pilot

a

chopper and must rescue 10 VlPs from a moving train. To accomplish a rescue you have to position the chopper over a VlP (who has thoughtfully

The Zombie: ELECTRONIC Arts has always been a good source of original and exciting software, but l was slightly disappointed at Realm of Impossibility. Originally released under the name Zombies’ the program has now been re— vamped and licenced in the UK by Ario|asoft_ The game follows a good against evil theme. The player stars in an Indiana Jones type role, fighting all forms of nasty beings from marauding zom— bies to small round orbs which

n

mation and a variety of realistic moves result in a smashing game. Next to Elek— traglide, this is English Software's best to date. Kissin' Cousins has you

Hits series. Smash Hits Volume4contalnsthe suloerb

of

previously released games have proved 10 be very

I

EngiiSh Software, pUbIishers Of the amazing Elektra— glide (reviewed in a recent issue and in my book the best Atari race game ever), are no slouches when it comes to giving the Atari games—playing pUbiiC what they want. They have iUSt released a further volume in their Smash

'

climbed on to the top of the speeding train) and lower a rope for him to grab. You then deposit him on top of the rear carriage where he will be secure. Trees and cannons add to the difficuhy' Firechief sets you speeding left to right along a four lane highway, dodging traf?c_you can even zoom over it until you reach an office. lnside you scour the maze fora safe,allthewhiledodging and dousing fireballs before returning to the streets and on to the next office. Three skill levels are on offer. This one’s tough but addictive. Of the four, Chop Suey is —

easily the best, and the worth buying compendium's for that alone. But with three other decent games thrown in for good measure, you really can't go wrong. Bob Chappell

to He

return

straight for you When

a

nasty

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to

a

3D view of the dungeon,

clear perspective scene reminiscent of the famous Zaxxon. Your man

giving

a

stands ready to explore the passages ahead.

You will probably have wondered why this game is titled Realm of impossibility? Well some of the dungeons have walls that would confuse any bricky. In the Realm of Imposs— ibility dungeon, for example, there is a 3D platform that seems to be 100 metres high,

points drop below zero the game endsThe bad guys include zomblels, pOiSOnOUS Snakes, giant spiders and evil orbs. These subordinates of the evil world play a defending role, protecting the keys and crowns against intruders. They're not 80 be careful when StlfDid. being chased. The problem with this game lies in the ease with which i .

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your hit collidesd ecrease.YOl'lf your hit points

and yet you can step down to ground level at the side of the platform. As you move out of a room the screen scrolls the next section smoothly on and when this is complete a whole host of creatures converge towards you. At this point you should have scanned the room and begun a dash for the next room or be running towards any object you wish to pick up. The creatures usually wander about or just head

finished the whole game on only my third go. The game offers a two player game which is quite fun. Both are on the screen at the same time, so this calls for

complete cooperation

be—

tween them. lfa player wishes to leave a room he must wait for his partner to leave as well. If a player is killed, the remaining player can resurrect his dead companion by touch— ing him. The price for this US Top 5 hit (it won't be in my top 100!) and is £9.95 for cassette £12.95 for disc.

Richard Vanner


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Electronic mail is much cheaper than the post

The mailbox that

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your micro

Sending mailbox messages to other subscribers, whose numbers are rapidly growing, is the cheapest form of communication possible. You can send a message of any length to another mailbox for less than the cost of a ?rst-class stamp. And it doesn’t cost a penny more to send the same message to 500 different mailboxes! Even a message sent to a mailbox on the other side of the world only costs 30p.

MicroLink is in operation 24 hours a day, every day. That means you can access your mailbox

With MicroLink you can study the British Rail

—-—————————

The biggest bulletin board Of them all .

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micro power

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With MicroLink your micro becomesaterrninal linked directly to the Telecom Gold mainframe computer, and able to tap its tremendous power and versatility. Right away you'll be able to use giant number-crunching programs that can only run on a mainframe.

timetable and then buy your ticket in advance. You can book theatre tickets. And even order a bouquet of ?owers. It’s all part of the teleshopping revolution! .

Send and receive telex messages

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With MicroLink you can turn your micro into a

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on

whenever you want, and from wherever you are even a hotel bedroom home, office, airport or golf club! No-one needs to know where you are when you send your message.

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The modern equivalent of the telegram is the telemessage. Send it before 10pm and delivery is guaranteed by ?rst post the following day (except Sunday). The service was intended for people phoning their message to the operator, which costs £3.50 for 50 words. But you can now use it via MicroLink, for only £1.25 for up to 350 words! For an extra 65p your message can be delivered in an attractive greetings card.

What does it a" cost? _____—_______

Considering all the services you have on tap, MicroLink is remarkably inexpensive. You pay a once-only registration fee of £5, and then a standing charge of just £3 a month. On-line costs are 3.5p a minute (between 7pm and 8am) or llp a minute during office hours. There is an additional 2.5p a minute PSS charge if you are calling from outside the 01— London call area.Charges for telex, telemessages and storage of files are given on the next page.


.

How much it costs Initial registration

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____——_———

licating these values. On the 400/800 locations 634 and 635 are used to

detect

the

direction

of

ioysticks 2 and 3. Maybe I should buy an old 800 to check that any future write are programs that compatible. I

Stephen Williamson

G 00 d .

readlng

the book

LET me congratulate you on a ?rst rate magazine for allAtari users, beginners and experienced alike. I especially liked Mike Rowe ’s series on the Atari's display list. lagree with Steven Hurst's

HAVING bought

an

800XL for

Christmas

7984 I am now on my third one. The first locked up while keying in programs and was replaced. The second had the same fault, and my third one, delivered only two weeks ago, does the same. My attention has been in Analog, to a drawn letter issue 32, which states that 600)“, and 800?“ CQmPWe’S are being supplied with faulty a test. Basrccand gives Simple Type "7"

PRINT PEEK (43234) lf the result is 96 you have the defective Basic, but if you get 234 you have the updated Revision C Basic which is all right. This matter was explained to my retailer, but it appears that all his XL models give the sa m e, wro n g, a n s we r, therefore all have defective Basic. According to the letter writer, Atari no longer have any Rev C Basic units left and say it is too expensive to set up a

production run. If this is the case, and Atari

are

deliberately marketing

faulty machines, speedy action is necessary to remedy this situation, otherwise Atari will not last long. Don’t get me wrong —/am

46 ATAR/ USER

suggestion that you should include some assembly language and complex graphic routines for the more experi— enced Atari programmers to get to grips with. I would be very grateful if you could help me with the following. Could you tell me if there is abook available forthe 800XL which has a disassembled listing of the Atari ROM and describes what each routine does andhowit works, as does

March 7986

”The Complete

locations and registers that the

Atari uses?

idea of how everything works on the XL too, plus you get the

/ have read Mike Rowe's series and wondered where he got the information about the

Guide",

hardware register locations

and the WSYNC location. [hope you can answer my questions as I would like to make full use of the Atari ’s

superb capabilities which

a

complete ROM disassembly

for the 800XL, but let

us

Firstly, “The Technical Reference Notes" (Atari)

enthusiastic

about Atari,

Have any other 800XL users found this fault? G.J. Donaldson, Inverness. * t * —

LET me

congratulate

YOU

provides

a

on the old

full listing of the OS

400/800 machines,

which gives you

Hot/ine gave

a

very good

me the solution.

standing. The main reason for this letter is hopeful/y to help your reader L. Williams writing in the October issue. / bought myAtari400 early in 7982 and found that the owners manual and the Basic manual supplied only touched the surface of the capabilities of the machine. lfoundl was getting faults, like L. Williams, which were not mentioned in either manual. When editing a program, including rectifying errors, the keyboard would occasionally lockup, making it necessary to switch off and start up again losing whatever was in memory. A phone call to the Atari

Basic cartridge, which bar a bytes, is the same on the

DOS (2.0) is covered in two books, "Inside Atari DOS"

(Compute! Books) which covers the core (DOS.SYS), and “The DOS Utilities Lis— ting" (Atari) which provides a full listing of DU P.SYS (the utilities/menu segment). As a good complement to the above books, there is a

typed in and l have to start all over again.

up.

machine. The solution is to editalittle

and then

give the LIST

command. I now have the habit of listing or editing no at a time more than two lines

and then givmg

the HST

command. It IS tlme-consumlng but / do not get lockups any more. _

Off

your magazine for the Atari ” W'” f'” a "W ff” the “59’: beginner and users of long

(Compute! Books) disassembly and

Apparently with

too much editing and no LIST command the error buffer ?lls up and causes the keyboard to lock

G'A' Edmonds, b°“"‘°-

Brox-

Users book to

explanatory notes of the Rev A XL/XE.

Spectrum?

having had the games console, 400 computer, 800 computer, and now an 800XL which has wasted hours of typing by locking up repeatedly. If the Analog letter is sooner Atari take correct the qurck act/on, the better.

a

Alan Gilchrist, Carluke. 0 There is no book that gives recommend a few very good books for your purposes.

describes the uses of the different special memory

Book"

gives few

an invaluable

the machine code program— mer. The “Atari Basic Source

leave other micros far behind.

Spectrum ROM Disassembly” by Melbourne House for the

Could you also tell me if there is a book which lists and

"Operating System

Will you please tell me if this is normal or if there is

something wrong with my P. Turner, Tid—

worth. . Let's clear up this problem of bugs in the OS and Basic

once and for all. Like all computers, there are minor bugs in Atari's machines. We can be thankful that they are not as serious as, say, some of the early Sinclair or Acorn machines, but they are nonetheless still there. Don t a ll go rus h'lng b ac k to the shops and ask for your money back, because the bugs can mostly be worked‘around. The two most maior ones concern the EX‘PAND and routlnes W'th'n CONTRACT Basrc itself. 0" the Old 400/800 Basic cartridge (Rev A), one Of the routines t° move memory ,

* * * OWN anAtari 600XL which! bought over a year ago. Until/ saw your June issue of Atari User I had not been getting very far with understanding my machine, but I am now an avid reader of your Beginners I

and Graphics sections, which have taught me quite a lot. I would like to know if you can help me with a problem that l have with my 600XL. When I type a program it sometimes stops working. I lose control of the cursor and the only way / can regain control is to use the Reset

button. This is fine mostofthe time, but sometimes this will clear all of the program that / have

quCle downwards (CON-

TRACT) had a fault Wthh meant that the machine W°U|d ”35h and |00k up whenever it

I

l |

l '

, | '

1

I

was asked to move a multiple Of

255 bytes

This very rarely happens of course, but is made much worse by a lot of editing, especially involving deleting lots of lines. There is no cure for it,

v‘

l

'


Mailbag superb memory map produced by Compute! Books called ”Mappin the Atari”. It covgers locations within the 08, Basic, DOS and all of the other useful bytes for graphics, sound, l/O and so on.

Make

you get the

sure

revised edition

800XL, locations computers

as on

if

you have an

it also covers the XL and XE

and DOS 2.5.

One other book that wouldn't go amiss is "De Re Atari" (Atari) which isaslightly less technical guide to the workings of the machine and its OS. This is not a substitute for

the “Technical Reference Notes", but is much more helpful to the less advanced machine code programmer.

common var|ables -

CAN you tell me please if there is a way in which one Basic program can load and run another disc without/osing the variables and their values set up in the first ro ram? l appreciatepthgtthe com— mand RUN “D.'xxx.xxx" works from within a program, but it resets variables to zero. Creatinga data file on disc and then reading it from the second program would work, but it would be slow and the extra programming would be tedious and defeat the object, which is to modularise pro— grams and keep them to a

manageable size. On the subject of long programs, is there any way of suppressing the maximum line number, 9999, that can be used to list ranges of lines? As far as I am aware to lista range starting at over 7000, one has to list the whole

A.G. program. Burwash. 0 There is no easy —

after you had ENTERed it. You

mayfindthatthisiseasierthan setting up a variable file on disc. The other question has no easy answer, I'm afraid. You'll just have to put up with typing that extra "comma 9999" after your LIST commands.

Burton, -

way to use

common variables with Atari Basic, but how about setting up a file which contains your new program in LlSTed format, plus lines containing just a line number to delete anything that remains of the old program?

By using RETURN key mode you could then get the new program to RUN correctly

Strlp POker on dlsc ,

lHAVEjustreadthereviewon

Strip Poker in your excellent October edition, but although it was a good review your writer, Pat Cookson, wasn’t too clear about the disc

———_’

— except to make sure you SAVE

your program regularly. You’ll know if it happens, though, because the keyboard will accept nothing you type, and pressing Resetwill only let you enter one moreline,thenit will lock up again. When Rev B Basic was

written fortheXLsthefault—Z bytes, would you believe—was corrected. Unfortunately some bright spark at Atari decided that he’d better do the same to the sister routine EXPAND (which was perfectly OK as it was), hence the same can new happen when you add lines on an XL, so some people get lockups when entering pro— grams. This problem with EXPAND can also cause failures during the DIM command, giving you an error 9 where there should not be one. RevA Basic hadafewother faults, minus zero gives odd results, as does INPUT with no variable. LOCATE and GETcan occasionally get their data mixed up under very rare circumstances, and the NOT command is a bit quirky. Rev B cured all these other problems of course, but introduced one other rather major one. As the system could some— times wipe out the last few

bytes of memory before the someone at Atari thought: "Ah! Let’s add a little extra bit to Basic to tell the program that it can't use the last 16 bytes of memory". Good idea, but he did it by adding 16 to the "end of program" counter, so that it would register as being out of memory 16 bytes too early. This effect is cumulative, which means that every time you SAVE a program 16 useless bytes are added to it. On a 16k machine this quickly mounts up, so, of so course, you think: “Ah Iet’sjust LIST the program and re—enter it every so often to clear up the tables".

display

But then the EXPAND routine is used to the fullest, of course, to add lines, and you can well crash the machine. The only thing to do is SAVE it first, then LIST it.

If ENTER crashes

the

machine, re—load the normal version,' and try adding a few bytes to some of the lines (such as 3 REM or two) then LIST it.

Many other

cures

have

been pronounced,

but I can stress that none will work the most likely probably being to wave garlic over the keyboard! All of these bugs have been cured in Rev C, which is in the —

XE machines and also avail— able on cartridge for older computers. The OS is not without its problems too. The old 400/800 OS could time—out every so often during disc or printer l/O. It would come back about 30 seconds later, but would have spoilt a printout by then. This was caused by a routine accidentally left in the machine code which allowed for older printers to cool down during a long print run. Also the cassette routines

didn't clear their buffers correctly, so CSAVE could sometimes leave garbage at the start ofa file, causing it not to load back again. The cure for this one is simple. If you have a 400 or

800, always type LPRlNT before trying to CSAVE a program (ignore the 138 error). This will ensure that the buffer is clear before you start. A number of other things could cause minor problems, but only at a machine code level, so I won't cover them here. On the XLs. the 08 was revised to clear these prob— lems. and is by and large bug—free. However the hardware isn't. There eXiSTS, in 93er GOOXL

and 800XL machines,atiming problem with the 6502 chip. It normally works fine, but aftera lot of use asit warms up one particular brand of chip lost all track of time, and

couldn’t communicate with the other chips in the machine. The cure for this is a replacement 6502 chip, but only use an Atari supplied version, or you'll run into further problems. You can find out ifyou have this fault (known as the math pack lock—up) by running the following program:

1“ n:1:8:2:c:3:l:4:5=5 2. “III WEB-M015 3. gum 19 Le

a v e

this

r

u n n

i

n 9

it fails, probably with a yellow screen and garbage on the bottom

overnight,

and

if

line of the screen, you have the

faulty chip, and you should take your machineinfor repair. Only the math pack prob— Iem will cause this program to fail while running. Perhaps this will clear up my what the bugs are, and why they occur. As I have said,

though, they are generally minor. and can usually be avoided by the common prac— tice of making regular backups of programs.

André Willey March 7986 ATAR/ USER

47

_


address, date and outstanding could be printed, and amount anything more complex COUld be linked into mail merge on a word processor, Super. good script perhaps.

yam-on.

Having got the disc version I thoughtl’d better point out a couple of things. For one thing, it only requires 48k, not 64k as Pat

‘ '

'

M a“ b 09

1

stated.

' '

on b00t_up' So you needBasic

.

for the disc version. I hape this helps people having trouble with this excel— lent game. Mark Oxley, Newton Abbot.

“mess.”

M8'|P39

best qualified person in the UK to answer this one, as l did the cassette version for US Gold. The disc version is basically the same as the stateside release (48k), and it requires Basic. As l didn’t add anything apart from some protection routines to the disc, you must have Basic resident to play the game - that is, don't hold down OPTION on an Xl./XE. As I did a lot of re-writing for the cassette version, and tucked all the pictures underneath the operating system and Basic, You must have a 64k machine to run it' only 52 b y ti" as o spare unhgdabout ert ere, so it's a tight sueeze.q The cassette also requires Basic, but if you accidentally do press the OPTION key and disable it the new machine code loader routines I wrote will just turn it back on again. Neat, eh? So if ou’refeelin kind, and want tg save the gcomputer about a milli—second's work, then don't hold the OPTION key down. Pat only had the cassette to go by, and so couldn't know the changes for disc.

ff“

André Willey

DISC

dullblers IAM shortly to buya disc drive for my 800XL. For a number of issues you have been advertising a disc doubler which is designed to "Ha/ve your costs". I 'm in two minds about buyingone,asaccording to my friends, modifying a disc in the

48 ATARI USER

“823,232;

March 7986

\

COULD you please tell me if there is any way of turning an ordinary Basic program into a

boot-tape, and could you

d

It

i

WO’kS-

taxi/amfyfli?ow woud ”(9 to know what , Im _d°”7_9 rather than IN“ J“ {meg "7 a listing. Walker, Acton Vale. .

Stockport SK7 5NY

.

way described can be harmful to the drive and corrupt the disc.

They say that the tissue paper which lines the discs is grained in such a way that turning it backwards will tend to scratch the magnetic par— tic/es from the surface. Is this true?— Richaro J. Harrison,

Barnsley. . Opinion

is divided on whether disc doublers are a

Atari User Group please me at the address

an

to produce easrestlway a 's to the boot—tape usmg SAVE C: .You can prograhm t en run the load and mm the smgle RUN {ago-gram iliie ho p e to bl''s h °t h er .pu ways 0 f pro d ucmg auto-boot and discs m a tapes

a“?

You may even find a computer being put to uses that you had not thought of. Look forward to hearing from all you Atari enthusiasts out there in the wilds of the Cardiff area.

The

contact below.

Raymond Price, Mandeville House, 9 Lewis Street, Canton, Cardiff. —

5° say, issuef.u weedlless give expranations.

.

future well

'

9 cod 0,- bad thin

_

Disc manufacgturers obvi— ously don't like them and have probably been responsible for

Newspaper accounts

Expandlng the 600 X'-

[HA VE

MA”

-

~

.

sevseéfénsfé‘éeaélil?sims

fact that many

is the people use

them without prowems' The Aw”- Use, edim?a, team contains proponents of both positions, so you'll have to make up your own mind.

USBI’

groups

NEW user rou has 'ust been formedg in pSwincIion meeting twice monthly If anyone is interested then

A

telephone {0793} 695675 Taylor

please

'

Colin _

an

on

Paul

'

was

«9

programfor the/413” that W’” help With my newspaper accounts.

_

Walk, Yateley, Camborley, Surrey GU17 7TX. * * * I HAVE "output", do you have “input” and live in the Cardiff area? If so and you are interested in joining orforming

700 and the program are

over

Neil

Of memory With "7040/95

Leggett, Romford.

accounts must be able to access each the contents, save one, change to disc and then load the changed accounts at a later date. It also be able to should bills output by the calculate —

expand

myipnsGOOXL Of 5 {“‘P to 723" ff’a‘f’e 0" WW“ yo‘f’ magaz’"e~ After domg so, need to thatWill/d] ave been, buy/[games specza y made for expanded —or do! to nee; " sli‘hraf ’tsystergs an start again. ' '

printer.

nejwsagency and! wondering ff there 13 5

printer.

MAY / appeal thf°U9h_ your columns for ”7 Atar/ans [77V area to me wrtha V’ew contact 10,3?tt’”9 ”(7 a Yateley and D’ft’wt Atari U3” Group. Brian Duckett, 13 Bridge

disc drive 800th Will soon be

(7050)a and

getting I run

There

* * *

-

tapes

f° Ed'to"

ggfgza Houze °a

o lthink that l'm probablythe

3,

.

.

Am" User

.

Auto-boot

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

[had trouble loading it until ldecidednot topressOPT/ON

’.

.

,

0 With the present high cost of expansion modulesyou'd be off with better starting again a bargain 800XL if you either can fmd one or a 13OXE'

Piracy

Thurlow,

Plymouth.

.

0 You could use an accounts package, butthis seems rather

pulnters

like over—kill in this case. Have you thought about putting the information onto a database which has a built in calculator feature, such as Syn?le +? it's worth thinking about, and may end up saving you a lot of time and trouble in the long run. Simple bills, of na me,

ILBEAD with interest your report on John Lawson's campaign to stop pirating-his company's (Computer Support} hardWare, and / have two observations to make. I bought Computer Sup— port's 80 column /XOS hard—p, were modification system and

g

,

had them install it. It turns out that the colours

-

N


in some important graphics programs did not work any more and Computer Support offered to change their product if! took out the chip myself. . If you are worried about such things {that is the colours being botched} they would

£20, Ziake thfheclt7atnge 0 a pac fokr age to fill/5901115] -

mention.

Pirates are a market phenomenon. If producers n “P 2°”?th mar P’ffs' e.

Cf’at’ge 93 0,0 mm

Conclusion: ComputerSup— p on should get the” house "7 order and charge prices at

which pirating becomes uneconomical. Oscar —-

Werdmuller, Oxford. n

Graphics, Wizard Development, Tynesoft,

Gremlin

and many MicroPro/Precision others are all planning releases . on the 8 bit Atans. "Your Atari Computer" is a very good book, and covers as .

.

prlnter

[AZELYtheAtanwor/dseefms tat;da/veLieu/33211257 58,1},

if; .

the followmg

Sgg?rijgswer ‘

Are Ocean to release Fran— kie Street Hawk Daley’s Decathlon etc SUAEI’ Test and . on the Atari? If so ' when? I heard that Beyond were to convert some of their games for theAtari some time ago Is this true? D o y ou know if an y of the '

'

.

'

.

.

Brit/sh

.

.

prominent

.

software houses are planning any releases for Atari? Get Hawng read through . More From the Atari by Ian . . Sinclair l was looking for a . book which would not only go . t d th b t th At r" nganjepd faitgzes wit/ll; also ex lain them clear! .

'

-

.

bit

"Yo?r Atari

Compriter” .

gig/54975191 igf?ign‘zzzg £713 tells me what know. l_already adwse me 0" C3" YO? what It contains and anotherpossrbly book. recommend _

Ch?s Howarth, Prestotyn. Q The answer to your first

two questions is possible, but unlikely in the near future. The best way to find out is to contact the companies con—

Location 5401 7 I OWN a 73OXE, bought after . m y l a d acqurre d h'IS 800 wrt h .

tape

Phil Doody. Q The problem is almost

'

i

New

raleases

soundtrack

while loading.

does the dispfay 730 in the shop. Can you clarify this for A_M_ Sharp, North me?

AM hoping shortly to buy a printer for my 800XL,solwi/I require an R8232 0, a

BBS on test

Centronics parallel interface. Th’s ’s where I need your advice as to an inexpensive ’ , but rel/able one. [phoned various hardware outlets and found the range to be between 559 and £80, a price that suits my pocket

ted to learn of a new 338 under test 0” N ott/ngham 0602 274369 ' HOUI’S 22 00 'to 07.00 daily, Sysop Mike Jervis, speed 300 baud. Atari , based. Special Interest Ice M' hockey. Jervis, Not.

/

-

.

_

other

you can hear data going onto the tape and if you play the tape back you hear the data. Incidentally do you know why the recorder has a stereo head and the data IS recorded on one channel? It baffles me.

I thought I' d better learn that a delay loop wasn’t the something from the family certainly with mourch géogrgaiilit‘zagovgghom refoLdertTrcy; planning clinic! Ioca g ltgis a little expensive. but ou optant taking see i tlama? ey' |aet you I'Yl h l d's 800 has we think it’s worth every with one oftheir machines. ifit begybgékeat Ztari’s for five penny. Ask any serious Atari works OK, take your computer months with a keyboard fault ' user about "The Blue Bible", back for repair. but that’s another story. and you'll see what we mean. to Otherwise send it My question is this: The .baCk the place you got n from, 130 handbook states that asking for a new one. The "normally, memory location the to stereo 54017 contains a 193". Ifl “lg":or a FEE/(54077! et253,andso to 1?e use Svs'zem extra trac

-

for

LOOkmg a

House, Anirog,

r

Equally important, their hardware is incompatible with Afar/writer, a detail which they

forgot to

cerned. Melbourne

A was

YOUR readers may be interes— -

-

_

tmgham.

told by

v.| d en

one

outlet that

they would not touch or Lee guarantee th em Charlton, Halesowen. .

.

The best answer is to look t h roug h t h e a ds in the ma 9 a zin e Any interface sold b Y a reputa bl e co m pa n y will havea _

_

12 month guarantee and after

direct to the manufacturer if the l reta il er ca n't h ep V ou.

t h at you ca n a Iw ays g 0

m 0 s t interfaces b e'"9 so lid st a t e will work trou bl e _f ree f 0 r e v e r more. if W“ rret a iler sa V she won't touc h a particua r in te rf ace, f' |n d out W h y a nd I et “5 know. H owe v er

'

'

'

|

R 8 I UCtant

came I 3 I HAVE a 600XL and a 7010 Data Recorder with which I cannot load "Attack of the Mutant Camels". It is a machine code game so you have to get the computer in machine code mode when it is switched on, but after about 30 seconds it goes into the self test. It will not load Basic either, although

_

_

couple of teleprint

modules fall in this range, but!

_

'

Wolds. 0 Location 54017

on the 130XE should normally con— tam 253 Wlth Basnc turned on, no t 193 ' See m y article in the . June 1985 issue f‘,” a full descn tion of how it works b an d w a a t eac h -

-

-

n r nxmdeérrma?rfy.’

an d

F I!“ .

connect|0n

Games

COULD YOU tell me hOW to transfer graphics produced by . the 800XL on to Video tape?—

adda WE would like 1‘0 further comment to Cliff McKnights account on Summer Games I. We were qurte happy With/t . to t h until we elscorlng. came We received gold, Silver and bronze medals but not m the correct order. . The person In first place got

Derek Heptinstall, London SEG' 0 The 800XL,as with aIlAtan computers except the 400, .

has a video out socket at the —

.

.

the video. Either use standard monitor cable, Wire up a lead as follows: on

.

.

.

.

marked monitor. This 5-pin DIN can be connected to the "video in" socket on the video recorder, . and the Video select swntch changed from Tuner to Aux or sometimes Camera. This will give a far better result than simply plugging the TV lead into the aerial socket back

.

.

.

a

or

abronzemedalandtheperson .

second place received gold medal. .

In

a

For some unknown reason, when we ran the 100 metres . . our time was 70.58 for which we received a worldrecord but it recorded time 00. Those are only two of the bugs that we have found. Martin Parry and Darren Rayfeld, Maidstone. —

.

Looking at socket on back of 800XL. Audio out

,

'

Video

‘ V

'

Video in

Audio

in

(if required)

March 7986 ATARI USER

49


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.______

lhese

issues

stil I avai ‘l a bl

are

October issue: Computer

May 1985 issue: ProfileofJackTiamiel,

Canvas graphics program, Updates for RAW 6502 assembler, 13OXE Ram-disc utility, Hex/Ascii memorydump utility, Pontoon, Software reviews. 68000 operating Bit environment, Wraptrap. Insights and llQ/ise. onverse program, ovemBeginners er issue: CGraphics

preview of the new machines. Attack Squash, Adventuring, Alphabet Train, Hexer utility, Software reviews, Sounds, the 6502. Microscope, Atari Insights—Bit Wise. Beginners and Graphics. June issue: Analysis of the 1 30x15. Submarine. Adventuring. Random num» bers, Software reviews, Frog Jump, Bit Microscope, Sounds, Atari Insights Wise, Beginners and Graphics. special 12 page feature on Communications.

tutorial, Adventuring. ‘ reviews, insights

L151

Microscope. Software

July issue: Disassembler, Bomb Run, i sue: ec graphics. -sum program. gtexfsbgfinnemggd 25 17C omman d men t 5 Adventur Special keyboard characters. Basic XL Software List Tutorial. ing. Display GemWrite reviews.PowerFunctions,TreasureHunt. rewew, and GAemDraw,

DOS

_

.

.

,

Keyboard Sounds, Microscope. lnsights— Bit Wise, Beginners and Graphics. August issue: Analysis of 52OST,

routines, Fruiti Gambler, Assembler, Touch Tablet prorams first look at Lo 0 Raider 1997 9D05 25 upgrade Offger’ Display List Tutorial, Microscope, Software reviews, Bit Wise. Beginners and Insights

pt

,

; Nil

“s

..

2

Q

i(“43‘sz

'

'

MAY 1985: Alphabet Train: This early learning game-s a winner with the children. Sounds lnteresting: Ready-made sounds. Hexer: Enter, display and run machine code programs with this hexadecimal loader. Attack Squash: Fast-action game. Reaction Timer. How fast reactions? Binary: Convert are. your denary numbers to binary notation,

JUNE: Frog Jump: Guide the frog to his home in this version ofthearcade classic. 1300XERamPower: Use the extra 64k of memory to good effect. Submarine: Scuttle the submarines. Etcha-Sketch: Draw pictures with a joystick. Random Numbers: Get random numbers from machine code. Filth y Fifteen: Can you keep the Filthy Fifteen happy in their cells? and land Run : Fla tt the JU LY: B _omb en deserted City safely. Disassembler: Find out whats gOing on deep cal thinkin 9 inside your Atari Treasure Hunt- Use] to find the treasure Password Genceitor. K generating passwords till you find one you like. K eyboard. Convert your micro into an organ. Quasimodo: Can you sort out the mess of ropes in the A

F“

'

.

,

,

»\

,

.

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Profile for Paul Rixon

Atari User Magazine Vol 1 Issue 11  

Atari User Magazine Vol 1 Issue 11 - magazine for Atari home computer users, published by Database Publications.

Atari User Magazine Vol 1 Issue 11  

Atari User Magazine Vol 1 Issue 11 - magazine for Atari home computer users, published by Database Publications.

Profile for prixon
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