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Page 1

A Database

Publication

December 1987

Vol. 3 Vol. 8

£1.25

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The latest launch from Atari is put to the test

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EXCITEMENT-

DESTRUCTION

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“— For subscription details please send

a S.A.E. to:

KONAMI SOFTWARE CLUB

Bank Building, Bank Street, Newton Abbot, Devon T0122JL.

KoNAMIHELPLINE 0626 56789


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Contents

RIGHT

-

.

.

.

TARGET?

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Fife mm {mm can m: Him pg! 15

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55s;

News All the latest from the ever-changingworld of the

x

.

— um

Vol.

gun

”Raw

An up-to-date guide to the month's top—selling Atari software.

Coloured cursor Quickly find your cursor on the screen with this useful utility.

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5:3th

bit Atari.

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No. 8 December 1987

3

8

13

Rewews

Managing Editor:

Our evaluation team takes

Derek Meakin

Group Editor: Alan McLachlan

Star

Features Editor:

a

17

Trak

An in-depth evaluation of

Peter Davidson

look at the latest software releases.

_

a

brand new concept

.

|n games

control.

Production Editor: Peter Glm’e' Editorial Assistant: Neil Fawcett

19

Snowball Can you help

Snowy the snowball escape from the devious maze?

News Editor: Enhanced

-

Get

72:MAG001 265871 MONREF s Quoting Ref. 72:MAGOO1 614558383

look at Atari

5

32

latest additions to the -

-

-

8 but

range.

34

39 .

.

.

.

UK

Europe (incl. Eire) Overseas (Airmail)

l

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d,

basis.

© 1987 Database Publications Ltd- No

material may be reproduced in whole or in part without writen permission. While every care is taken, the publishers cannot be held legally responsible for any errors in articles, listings, or advertisements. “Ara”- Use,» is an Mdependempub?ca?on and Atari Corp (UK) Ltd are not responsible for any ofthe articles they contain or for any of the opinions expressed. News trade distribution: Europress Sales and Distribution Limited. Unit 1. Burgess Road, Ivyhouse Lane, Hastings, East Sussex TN35 4NR. Tel: 0424 430422.

4

Rouloc

1

More amazing exploits with our resident Atari adventurer.

44

Five Liners

If» restim

Zédrgzed 86,135,502? gtizriwaszlzfe of material cannot be guaranteed. Contributions accepted for publication by Database Publications Ltd will be on an all-rights

»

a

How to make |oyst|ck movements look like keyboard entries.

ISSN 0266-545X “Atari User” welcomes program listings and articles for publication. Material should and prefbe typed or computer-printed, erably double-spaced. Program listings should be accommpanied by cassette tape Pl

Ne take

KeystiCk

:

,

.

_

1986

'

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games With valuable readers’ help.

Gadgets

Subscription rates for 12 'ssues p05tf me

30 of your

Have festive fun with disco lights controlled by your Atari.

SK7 SNY'

ABC‘l 33,573 January-June,

and Tips more enjoyment out

XE Games System -:

s.

4

25 explanation of the powerful USR command.

0614480 0171

”an“ G'°"e' s‘°°kp°"

£15 E18 £33

fingertips with this Broderbund upgrade.

_

H'nts

061-456 8383 061-456 8383 061-456 8500

Published by: Database Publications Ltd, Europa House, 68 Chester Road,

l

printing

USR functions

Nora Lawton

Pram! Mailbox:

at your

The final part of our

Advertising Sales: John Snowden Editorial: Administration: Advertising: Subscriptions: Telecom Gold: Telex:

23

Printshop Companion

Mike Cowley Technical Editor: André Willey Advertisement Manager: Tony Nowell

.

.

.

.

Prize-Winning l

.

mini

programs sent

.

in

by our clever readers.

.

47

mailbag

The chance to get your news, views and name in print.

53

Solutions

Software

.

Our reS|dent expert helps to solve your programming .

.

problems.

56

.

Get It Right I”

The machine code secrets

behind last month’s superb utility. December 1987 Atari User 3


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The huge potential of:\rchimedcs doesn't stop thcrcfl‘he 3M)“ with its built-in PC emulator can run liotus I.2.3i“ D B;\SF, llli" “Si-WORD?“ and other popular business programs mailahle under \lS-l)()Sf"

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With prices starting at £749 e\c.\ .\'l‘ for the 303 with mono monitor and rising to S [035 exc. \ :\'l‘ for the 3 It)“ with colottr monitor. the ;\rchimedes 300 series represents unparalleled talue for a computer system olisuch capability.

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Atari M £1 . 3 mi 'II'ion (I ea I b rings tap gear i b.lg E mai expansmn t M t Middle expansion MicroFair service, give greater growing electronic .

.

,

MASSIVE of MicroLink, Britain's fastestmail is serVice, being now

-

ATARI UKcausedabigstir at the MotorFair in

virtually

came

area

As part of the new deal, the service is being transferred to a machine that is four times more powerful the Prime 9955. “The phenomenal devel-

MicroLink'—. which has a section speCificaIly for Atari was launched in users April 1985 as a means of encouraging Deeme- to start new exploring the —

eXCiting

world of electronic

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“We believe the introduction of the new this machine games Christmas has opened age new market place to us. The youngsters of that market place certain/y responded enthusiastically at this show”, said the spokesman.

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Pictured after signing the £13 million deal are Telecom Go/dgenera/ manager Clem Jones (seated/aft) andhead of MicroLink Derek Meakin. Looking on, from left, are MicroLink sales and marketing manager Mike Hayes, Telecom Gold sales and marketing head Philip Madden, MicroLink joint managing director Michael Meakin, MicroLink marketing director Peter Brame/d, Telecom Gold northern sales manager David Brom/ey and MicroLink systems manager Tim Clarkson. ____—_—_______

Software ATARI

developers

bit micro users are a raw deal by some software developers according to Essex-based retailer Clive Pulman. 8

being given

His firm, Trybridge, sold computer software more than four years Pulman says he has had

ticular

has

for and par-

difficulty getting

regular supply of

a

new titles

for Atari 8 bit machines “The amount of new programs coming available is pathetic", said Pulman. “The machines have so much

potential it

is a

pity that soft-

ware houses are not picking up on them the way they

should”.

Pulman says that although Americans have about 2,000 Atari 8 bit programs to

choosefrom,Britainislimited

to ”a few hundred — of which many are re—issues of old titles that don’t fully utilise the machines’ capabilities”. One major software house was quick to deny the situation is as grim as Pulman describes it. US Gold mar-

make

possible

Parallel Inte’face f or At arls '

.

LEADING supplier is aiming to make Atari 8 bit

A

users fall in love with its new internal add on. The Computer House Uni-

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Youngsters.

users,

the installation of many new and exciting facilities”.

.

,

for the

provide a much faster service, introduce a variable charging structure to meet the different needs of our

N

an enter-

Derek Meakin. “The new machine will us much flexibility. It will allow us to

meant that we have ”OW outgrown the computer that mtlinizations. t ecame an instant has served us so well in the success and not only in last two and half years”, Britain. Computer users in said MicroLink chairman ~s _ rem-mnW-mww-w-

perfect opportunity to

introduce our games system to these youngsters, many of whom might never have seen them before. ”The organisers said we had one of the most exciting exhibits. It be-

housed onaPrime 750 computer in Telecom Gold’s top security London head-

planned followmg .t.he completion of a 151.3 million contract with Telecom Gold.

Olympia by setting up a computer games stand. Centrepieceofthestand, which embarrassed show organisers admitted was the best visited in the who/e exhibition, was a line of racing cars inside which youngsters could play Pole Position. An Atari s okesman said: “We bel/Jiei/e that many of the 300/000 people who go to the show are fathers with children under 70- We saw this asa

tainment

East and Europe, the Australasia call the Link which is

A

-

rapped keting and product manager Richard Tidsall told Atari User: ”Currently we have 65 games available onlicence from America,which isn't bad for just one publisher. "American buyers may have a greater choice, but what is suitable for them may not be suitable for us". But there is good news for users—Atari UK is back in the software market itself with Twilight Zone and has another 20 rom cartridge games due for release.

versal Parallel Interface Device, or Cupid, will cost £39.95 and could open up the 8 bit machine to the world. A series of handlers will be produced by Computer House (01-731 1276) to enable the interface to work With modems, printers 30d Midi: “Sing a standard 25-way D socket. With a for“ the system, support interface will be fully prO-

grammable. Cupid is JUSt

one

Of

a

number of products on the cards as Computer House steps up its support for the 8 bit range. A Help menu will be on whhh hhhw to put all the instructions about a program in a form which can be pulled up by a single keystroke. CH boss John May said the company was importing a growing selection of software from the US. A 130XE high resolution designer is on the cards which will work very well with CH’s Snapshot. Also to be released is Word Magic, which John May describes as a word with built-in processor graphics. lt Will cost £17.99. December 7987 Atari User 5


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ATARI CARTRIDGES £19.95 ASSEMBLER EDITOR £7.95 CAVERNS OF MARS DEFENDER £7.95 DIG DUG £7.95 £7.95 DONKEY KONG JNR. £7.95 JOUST LOGO £29.95 MICROSOFT BASIC II . £19.95 MISSILE COMMAND £7.95 £735 MUSIC COMPOSER £7.95 SKY WRITER STAR RAIDERS £7.95 TENNIS £7.95

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DEALER and OVERSEAS Enquiries Welcome 514-516 Alum Rock Road, Alum_RoCk, Birmingham. Telephone: 021 328 3585 212-213 Broad Street, BIrmIngham. Telephone: 021 643 9100 6 Atari User December 7987

A

ATARI

A

ATARI


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DIZZY DICE Players

l A

seat

BACK seat driving takes on 3 new dimension in Speed Run, one of a series of Christmas releases from

d r,

_

most

racmg

the player's [30in View is behind an animated driver who turns corners and changes gear on command.

games,

of

Red Hat (067-835 1055) says if is the most am—

bitiOUS m0f0f driving game ever written for an 8 bit machine. The object is to complete the various stages of a motor rally in a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth with its fivespeed gearbox. The company also has two double packs ready for release. In the first, Planet Attack is paired with Mad Jax.

ye r

RANGE of 5.25ln coloured discs for Atari computers has been announced by Centec. in The discs, which five colours, havecageeen produced as a result of customer demand for an easier way to identify their data or discs from program back-up discs. John Taylor, managing of Centec (0689 director 35353), told Atari User: “Single colour discs have been causing problems for our customers. NOW that they have a choice Of colours it '5 DOSSlble for them to store data 0“ red discs, back-up .

discs on green and

pregram

GAUNTLET use...

MILK RACE Mastertronic

ON CUE The former is a multispeed, 30 scrolling shoot ’em up in which the player must guide a craft on a mission to destroy a series of outposts guarded by vicious aliens. Mad Jax gives a bird’s eye view of an armoured tank which must negotiate a desert road and a city, taking on all opponents

Mastertronic

.

|

STORM B u Ild 09 '

m

dlscs on

blue.

“With

yellow

the

V

DRU'D Firebir d

RED

and black it

gives the in

.

FOOTBALL MANAGER Addictive

Micro Value

LlVlNG DAYUGHTS Domark

_

'

desktop publishing package for Atari 8 bit for machines is scheduled

release in the new year. US software house XLent— "OW half-owned by SO?WEFe as Express (021-328 “358? ypesetput together on dISC ter and Rubber Stamp. W'th page Typesetter helps _

layout,‘wh||e Rubber Stamp a

m

.

£20

essentially

First Star/Prism

FOUR GREAT GAMES

DTP PACKAGE A

BOULDER DASH l]

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en ma ion ctistomerjgreitertflexlilbiIity s oragel I

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Code Masters

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addition of '

?iggTriggxllgEGol d p

.

V

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US Gold

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hole Panic. All Red Hat pre-Christmas releases are being sold at £7.95 on cassette and £9.95 on disc.

dISCS

HOWER BOWER Mastertronic LEADERBOARD

l '

along the way. The second double pack features platform adventures Burglar Bill and Pot-

Colour-coded A

on i c

Alternative

.

Red Hat.

Unlike

"TLE (Software House)

FEUD

-

back

a

'

Mastertronic

.-

Be

J

Fireblrd

‘7

X

We

l—

.

N

font desugner.

'3

.

FOUR GREAT

GAMESZ

Micro Value .

Compiledby

Ga /l up/M'icroscope

Decathlon retains the first position for another month, but there are eight new and re-entries in the chart. The highest entry is the new Monkey Magic from Alternative. Watch out for Micro Value’s two compilations which also enter the chart in time for Christmas. December 7987 Atari User

7


HOW many times have you been a program on screen, then looked away for a minute, looked back and couldn't find the cursor? Well here's a program that tracks the normal cursor with a coloured player

.

editing

-

.

missile.

will help you find it in a screen full of text or you could even use the cursor to indicate an INPUT from the keyboard by changing its colour after each entry. The new cursor shows up particuIt

Iarly well

where it

video strings,

in reverse

often easily lost during editing. It’s visible on any Graphics 0 screen

is

in Basic,

Dos or

Assembler,

and will also appear in the text window. it will remain even if you press Break or System Reset. There are two versions of the procreates an gram: Program AUTORUN.SYS file on any Dos disc, while an Program II creates AUTOBOOT cassette. Type in the program you need and use the Get it Right ll! checksum to correct any tVping errors. If you use disc save your program as a master, then Run it. It Will proceed to create a .SYS file to disc which will boot into memory on power-up. Tape users should save a copy of the program as a master, put a cassette in the recorder, rewind it and press Record and Play together. Run the program and, when you hear two beeps, press Return to save your autoboot version to tape. When the I

.

cursor

your .

.

from

superb “tlllty

.

1

booting.

you wish to use player-missile graphics in your program, switch off the coloured cursor and when you with them enter have finished POKE 54279,4:POKE 53277,3 before switching them back on. The coloured cursor boots from disc or cassette into page 6 and the program itself occupies the lower half of of this area of memory. The upper half If

is used

player

as

AUTORUN.S

1

YS

dTSC

10

REM

cowum

11

REM

BY

12 13

REH

(ONTARI

REM

DISC AUTDSOOT

in double—line

GRAPHIC-S

Purple

Wh'te _

Green

Red/Brown .

.

Pokes to give different colour to the cursor 8 Atari User December 7987

Program

the

is

III

source

The program is protected against the Reset button and the Break key meaning that once installed the only way to totally disable it is to turn the power off. If at any time you lose the colour of the cursor press Reset to

bring

it back.

The cursor can be affected be poking directly into the code that controls it. Some useful ones are given in panel above.

1160 1173 1130

cursor SERVICES

USER

I 169 I a“ I {53,136 I I

3

202,16,249,165,85,10,10 105,46,141,1,208,76,0 0,224,2,225,2,0,6,-1

01111

1190 2000

00111

2010

REM

The '240’

2020

REM

the

REM

6

I 136

DATA DATA

----------------------------

in line

initial

1050

cursor

15

colour

0:POSITION 9,11

50 RESTORE 1000 60 READ D:1F “<9 THEN 80 7a put #1,0:GOTO 60 80 CLOSE #1 N POSITION 15,13:? " ALL

10'

1020

Black Pink

assembler

"p, AUTORUN'SYS”, zPSettTng EN #1,8,0, D:AUTORUN.SYS 1310

1000

710.1 710,54 710,64 710,94 710,164 710,242

resolution

enthusiasts,

11111111

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Atari


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G rap h' ICS ga | are Movmg on to th? drawmg mode, the menu icons are

Program: Blazing Paddles

Mice. £26195 Supp/ier: BaudviI/e/ABC

placed across The screen at

the top and bottom. This effectively leaves you with only half a screen for your

Holdings, 53 Cambridge Street, Aylesbury, Bucking— hamshire HP20 7RP. Tel: 0296 27165 OVER

been

increase in the amount of budget software available for the Atari

box, Outline box, Dots, Spray can, Fill and Zoom.

of these

Attached to these are the pre-drawn shapes and

to have the full micro, so

with interest that

window features. The

majority of

mands

l

viewed Blazing Paddles. This graphics package offers you more than 250 colours, a range of predrawn shapes stored on disc, three variations of text, four different input drawing devices and an icon-driven menu of commands.

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containing various

predrawn shapes. When first loaded the program defaults to a set of six shapes which includes buildings and

vehicles. These can be moved using the cursor, flipped from side to side and rotated in 60 degree increments before placing with the fire button. There is also a file of more than 30 symbols ready for pasting. The Colour Selection menu displays 16 colours with up to 16 variations of shade in each. You choosea colour by selecting 3 playfield register— 0,1,2 or 3 —then you must decide on a main colour and finally on a shade.

'

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toabuffer. This allows you to movea chosen segment around the screen by simply picking the spot and hitting the fire

color/Hue

g

Hayfield

f

‘g?

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,

«.

pressing the fire button. of the commands speak for themselves, but others will benefit from a brief explanation. Window is a visual cut and paste routine. By drag-

are two additional styles — italic and bold. But only one style at a time can reside in memory. Also on disc are three files

.

'

Some

There

-

i”

set.

fe ‘

com-

button. Text can be selected in three sizes and each is double the height ofthe last, with the smallest similar to the standard Atari character

,

PT" 5

are selected by placing the screen crosshair cursor on top of an icon and

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musical

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£731?ng

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want to cut you can send it

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aportion ofthe drawing you

trackball. I found the joystick easiest to use, as the scrolling and medium pace takes you around the screen comfortably, if a little jerkily. The Touch Tablet requires I tried to use a Koala Pad my Atari Touch Tablet but as I moved the stylus up, the moved crosshair cursor down. As a result stuck with the joystick option.

9

T

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gingadotted outline around

You load the program with Basic switched off and the first thing to appear is the Drawing Device menu. This is where you choose your drawing tool —joystick,

paddles, touch tablet

,|_

/

Blazing Paddles has the usual range of drawing commands — Clear screen, Text, Lines, Ovals, Solid

an

it was

I],

drawing.

thelastyeartherehas

micros. The popularity programs seems overshadowed capabilities of the

f

This

procedure is

a

little time-consuming. If you take advantage of the six pre-set pattern boxes found at the base of the colour palette screen you

can also mix two colours for

the patterns. These are a mixture of horizontal and vertical lines in board design.

a

checker-

The Spray command produces a stippled effect using a defined colour although there doesn’t seem any method of modifying the nozzle pattern. A more useful method of drawing is provided by the seven different painting —

brushes, and a mixture of these can give a very nice

effect to your picture. The Fill option is linked to the colour spectrum and allows you to flood an area with a colour or pattern. Zoom works by splitting the screen in two The top half is a normal representation ofthe picture while the bottom shows an expanded view. You can then carry out Turn to Page 14 > December 1987 Atari User 13


—_—__—___—____

4 From Page 13

close detail work on enlarged area of the picture. lt’s essential that an art package allows you to save your creations, and this one has a reasonable Load and

Save feature—which allows you to process pictures, or windows, shapes and character sets. There are also facilities to view a disc directory, erase a file and format a data disc all the options you need are included. Each picture is stored asa 62 sector uncompacted file which is compatible with the Micropainter art pack. The windowing feature is handy for storing any size blocks of a picture. By cutting a section from your drawing and storing it in the buffer you can move directly to the disc operations and save the block to disc. ——

This

procedure also works

-

in reverse so blocks can be cut from disc and pasted to the screen. Probably one of

the most useful features available is the Undo key, which will cancel your last command and revert to the original display. A Help file that can be viewed at any time is also included on the disc, but only gives very brief mfor— mation. There is one sample picture file and a useful Basic with a short program machine code routine to enable you to diSplay pictures from within your own programs. Printing your picture is all part of the fun of painting programs, and Blazing Paddles has drivers for Epson, Gemini 10x, Panasonic and Okidata. Unfortunately the 1029 dot matrix printer is not supported, but as the picture file is saved in the 62

(cassette),

Supplier: Red Rat Software, 77-15 Fennel Street, ManChester M4 SDU. Tel" 061835 1055 THE Little Devil in question is trapped in the very bowels of Hades. Now had always thought «that such a place would be I

the natural sort of habitatfor devils of all sizes, but for reason Old Nick's protege wants out.

some

To escape his eternal torment in this fiery furnace he must release the scores of lost and lonely souls suf-

fering down below. Having done that he must rescue Linarta, the daughter of Earl Mordred. successful, he moves in to further realms, taking him nearer to the Castle Despair where the fair Linarta awaits If

rescue. 74

Atari User December 7987

_

_

matef'al'ses at the b°tt°m of the screen and by jumping and dodging must collect the souls stuck in corner

Limbo. OU‘ t° prevent him we a collection of ghastly ghouls, ghosties and gremlins, which defend their domain with diabolic devotion. He has the additional problem, of lack of time —

strange considering

he is

stuck in eternity. An indication of the time elapsed is shown on the souls of the unfortunates, counting down from seven to zero and he will be hard pushed to clear a screen within one lifespan.

Lucifer’s demons jeal-

ously guard the lost souls. Some home in on him,while others wander around at random or follow set paths. Also floating around is an energy pill which gives your

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sector format you can always print it out by using the listing for the 1029 printer published in the July 87 issue of Atari User. Overall, Blazing Paddles will be of limited use to experienced Atari users as only four colours can be displayed at any time and it doesn't have the range of commands that the Graphics Art Department

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if you touch it. You are able to gain extra lives a number of times on each screen. The power pill can occa-

sionally disable the grem— lins and ghosties, allowing them to be destroyed for a short period of time in —

as

in

Pac Man.

The graphics are pleasantly drawn, movement is

smooth and game play reasonably paced. The sound effects are adequate, which is more that l can say about the tune.

lquite enjoyed whatlsaw

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boasts. Its saving grace is the ease of use, the predrawn shapes and the standard 62 sector format. Blazing Paddles is a good art package. Though not ideal for experienced computer artists, it is a great introduction to art — and superb for children of all

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Program: Little Devil Price: £9.95 (disc), £7.95

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of Little Devil, although only had a pre-release copy and only the ?rst level was available for inspection.

I

Even on that rather limited basis l am sure this game will appeal to plat-

form addicts, although bearing the music in mind, perhaps with the proviso that they are tone deaf. Niels Reynolds

Sounds Graphics..........................7 Playabillty.......................7 Value for maney.............7 0verall.............................7


,

King Sized

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Because it is so big, there is no room left for graphics _ for Atari 8 bit owners this version is text only. In most adventures the role ofthe hero or heroine is normally taken over by the player. Not so in Knight Orc. True, you do play the main part, but in this case the star is an ill-smelling, cowardly Orc by the name of Grindle-

guts.

.

Orcs have been persecuted by adventurers for generations _ is it possible that you now have a chance to get your own back? The game starts in splendid style with you being challenged to a fight by a human knight. Only trouble is someone has tied you to your horse so you can't run away, much as you'd like to. Apparently your erstwhile Orc chums did this to you while you were intoxicated, volunteering you as their champion while you snored

and find are the main commands for movement — you also use‘them to locate can objects Wh'Ch you_ have preVioust seen or mislaid. Characters can be talked

to, commanded, followed and even ambushed — the powerful parser allows you to carry OUt such interesting Wait for the actions as and attack him .. innkeeper is Simultaneous action For example, you possible. can instruct_a character to

off

busmess._

find_

something.

_

at work in Magic Knight O'C- There are 21

on. Because

is also

A

w

to find 80d learn, and they can be used in unexpected ways. In adnot as it first dition, .

SDGHS

_all

is

th's game. Although the plot

seems m

casts

the role Of an Orc whose prime oppressed objective '" Part | 's to stay alive long enough to collect enough lengths of rope to cross a bridge into_ Part ll, once there, the notion may slowly dawn on you that something very strange is

you

m

.

gomg on.

to this There s a neat twist but you ll have to adventure, discover it for yourself. asa large castlist, As well Knight Orc has a vast number of locations. Many are fairly predictable (a Wide of Similar arboreal range. spots in Part l, for example). _

,

_

in this respect, the game

bit could have done with a of tightening up. Given the

running away from potential duffings-up. lt

time

adventurous and-Jinxter. of and Magikis'from the LevelsteamherTime Austin. Indeed Level as Mike and_Pete ome, Ingrid Bottomlow, Will be making _her

at times as if the entire population has got a

seems

_

personal grudge against

~

-

day now in her first nome Ifi‘ny e adlilenttitznngebut roe as anger. Hearts, and Nerd and Bert Plundered COUId“ t Make_Head Nor Ta" Of “1 the two new lnfocom titles, are also on the edge of release. Ruoloc is looking into them.

;

and quantity of characters locations, the nature of your initial task, and the arbitrary nature of the characters' appearances, Knight Orc has a somewhat unstruc— tured and sprawling feel to 't at the beginning. However, perseverance pays off .

Parts

and ill are better in

II

this respect.

well as detailed and stimulating text, a powerful and a massive parser vocabulary, the game also has the usual_save and restore features including ram _As

restore. Knight Orc has its flaws, the too-large cast list and the too frequent random save_and

_

appearances of the ters being chief among them. But havmg said that, the offer adventure has a lot to and is certainly one of the most sophisticated around. On strict value for money a terms, you get great deal charac—

_

.

Of

h'gh quality material, for and play

"1

sghitaa'g?em

To further augment your adventure library should be_on_the look out for two new you titles from Rainbird. They are offering the of you Time and Magik, more

o?i?i’fysgull fgtssgéfz?:é

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COMING SOON

you’re a yellowstreaked, somewhat repel-

you. And that’s possibly one of the drawbacks with the ame. Althou h a enerous is to Eelping of pergonallties be desired in an adventure, there are so many charac— ters in Knight Orc (over 70, | believe) that at times you

and

At the same time as that out your person is carrying can con— you instructions, tinue With your own

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step by step along the run appropriate route. Go,

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mapping '5 Q0ou need Simply reqUireh. w you_want to go state are er? ocations (major mentioned in the text), and the program Will take you

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Professor to b e ta k en too utter. seriously, you see. Another unusual feature ‘S

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and fleeing. The hUQe cast ”St includes

Green Sleeves, Jabbenivock, ‘

KNlGHT Orc is Level 9’s latest release under the Rainbird label and is a major step forward in adventure sophistication. so The game is large much so that it is split into three parts. separate

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Hg *¥ a;

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Program: Knight Orc Price: £14.95 (cassette

turn

-

-

A

Knight Orc can be little frustrating and unsatisfying but the in its early stages is so big and complex game that if you persevere, youtll With this be well pleased adventure to your addition _a

'

collection.

Bob Chappell Presentation.......................8 Atmosphere........................7 8 Puzzlement......................... Value

formoney.................g Overall................................. December 7987 Atari User 15


-

N 0 I“ Program. Leapster

p f

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apparen?v on way to SChOOI to free

Supplier: Red Rat Software, 11-75 Fennel Street, Man— Chester M4 3DU. Te/s06‘7-8351055

HAD high hopes for Leapstar as it loaded. The screen

was

rather attractive and a nicely harmonised little tune was playing at a fair lick.

pressed fire to start as instructed. l was greeted by a street scene, a little naive in its rendition perhaps, but inoffensive enough. The jaunty tune had slowed to a turgid drone, and this was to get proI

more annoying as the game wore on. Jimmy the Leapster was standing in the middle ofthe road on the way to school. Someone’s mum hadn’t

gressively

12”.

sags-isf‘. §~*”‘%se%§ss?yf?e ???fggg 3,

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Anyway there he is, under your control, looking like some demented leprechaun, bowling down the street heading towards onrushing motor cars. Looking at the houses you see various objects shown fleetingly at one of the four windows in which they may appear. Jimmy must jump on to the cars, riding them until next to a window with something in it, and then leap at it to grab the object and be awarded points. He needs to collect objects to progress to the next level. As you have probably guessed, the level after the High Street is the Nuclear

:

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Missile Site — most kids stroll through one on their way to school don't they? After the missile site there

interesting by including

supposedly exciting locations but I'm sorry to say that it doesn’t work, and was left with the feeling that here was a game merely bashed out in time for I

is the Haunted Cemetery and then the school itself. The pace is on the slow

Christmas. Red Rat is

sideandoncetheleapingon

capable of producing better than this.

to car bonnet stunt is mastered there is little to offer a challenge. lam afraid thatlfound the story line a little disjointed, but maybe Red Rat will alter this in the production copy. The company has tried to make a dull game more

;

a. f;

4,

.

Sound

5

Graphics.............................. 7

Playability...........................6 5

Valueform0"9Y~---------------

Overall.................................6

4?

f‘p' .* “fl.

they kept on comlng. Th'"95 were to 'mP'°Ve however, as slowly

Niels Reynolds

a'-afo§?-§T3§T‘5é?3§?5§?3§f’3§f§§fo‘

- - -

Program: Nightmares Price: £9.95 (disc) £7.95

39913652

kw

headmaStei’.

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Supplier: Red Fiat Software, 77-15 Fennel Street, ManChester M4 BDU. Tel: 067-835 7055

=.

surroundings. Somewhere deep in my subconscious | had

the-feeling that

YAWN, it was two in the

morning and was feeling pretty drowsy. The disc l

drive whirred quietly and my eyes blurred. I’m not

entirely sure what happened next, but it was pretty weird.

looked at my TV screen and there I was, posing like some errant fairy godmother, with a lovely pair of I

golden wings flapping behind me. Then things started happening. Blue Airflits started buzzing round me like wasps around a jam pot, sapping my energy as they touched. Fortunately my magic wand was loaded and opened fire to try to persuade them to buzz off—but I

76 Atari User December 1987

accustomed to my

|,

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collect f|ve little pink fairies in order to get into the next level of this strange experience, Unaccustomed as I am to going round picking up fairies, l nonetheless steeled myself and set off on my quest—although quite what the ultimate aim of it was l still didn’t know. Suddenly out of the two ground emerged

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JOYSTICKS can cause endless probIems — they don't move quickly enough and they also wear out rapidly. Star-Trak is a small handheld pad which puts all possible stickposition and firebutton combinations on to individual keys to overcome these problems. So, for example, you can select “up-left" or “up-left-plusfire" with a single touch. It's not the first keypad to hit the market, and some of the others have left a lot to be desired, so was initially sceptical about testing this one. However, after playing with it for an hour or two, found myself getting hooked, and wondering why no-one has marketed anything quite like this before. The first thing you notice is that the pad is easy and comfortable to use. It is equally suitable for left or righthanded players, and the buttons have a crisp, positive feel to them. I expected that it would take an hour or two to get used to the key layout, but in fact I was blasting away at full speed after only about 15 minutes which was when I noticed how much it reduces wear and tear on the wrist

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no matter how briefly you press the button. Set the switch to Auto, and you get conventional auto-fire which blasts away without your touching any key. But there’s also a centre position which gives you Burst action press the buttOn and you get auto fire, release it and firing stops. Where this controller really scores, though, is on the latest generation of — Karate and sports simulations clones which Olympics rapidly hammerjoysticks to death and require complex position and/or fire button —

combinations.

It has now been extensively consumer tested — by me, my wife, two children and the cat and, with one furry exception, all participants man—

aged to beat their previous high

on several arcade games, so we’re very happy with it. The controller isn't perfect for every program, though. Conventional joysticks give a more authentic feel on scores

and driving simulations, and one or two games involve rotating thejoystick rapidly around its eight positions, which is very tricky to do with Star-

flight

Trak. It's worth hanging on to your old joystick for games like these, but for many others, especially the latest generation, the new pad appears to have a definite edge. There are also

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lOVSthk two other things worth mentioning. First, it comes complete with a three-metre lead which plugs into the pad rather than being Wired permanently in place. You can use this lead with conventional joysticks, or paddles, or anything else that plugs into a joystick port — including Len Golding’s gadgets. Nice bonus, that. Second, the pad is made entirely in this country, and it is evident from the deSign and construction — yes, took the back off that it is built to last. The switches are all genuine keyboard ”click" types — not a rubber membrane in sight — and the rest of the mechanism is solid-state, so there's very little to go wrong. In fact the manufacturers guarantee it for 12 months, which is a good measure of their confidence. All this makes the price tag of £18.85 look quite reasonable - if it outlasts two joysticks, you’ve made a profit! Andlcan see these controllers turning up in a great many Christmas stockings this year. I

PdeUCff Star-776k Price’ $7385

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Publishing is all the rage now, but for many users it was the 8 bit Atari and Print Shop which gave them an insight into this field. Print Shop from Broderbund was made available in late 1985 and ever since then It’s been the only usable Atarl 8 but program W|thln the desktop pubIishing format. DESKTOP

Not to be outdone by its 16 bit cousins where this type of pro ram is very popular, Broderbund has rgeleasedThe Print Shop Companion as the perfect partner for The Prlnt Shop. Like the Print Shop, the Companion is easy to use, foolproof and a whole lot of fun. It expands the capabilities of Print Shop and adds a series of Editors, new Fonts, Borders and Icons. Even though you can use the Companion as a standalone program, to get the most from it you'll need to have The Prlnt Shop. To achieve true compatibility, the original Print Shop disc has to be modified by the Companion this means updating selective files so it can recognise borders and fonts from the _Companlon, and the .Companlon comes the set up lnformatlon from the Print Shop disc to the Companion

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Once this has been achieved the original blue backgroundcolour of the Print Shop should turn to black. The Print Shop Companion is as easy to use as the original Print Shop and follows the same menu driven system. Working from the menu, the first option is the Graphic Editor+. This has all the commands of the original editor with one exception: —

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wrapround cursor. The extra commands available make up for this though four mirror modes, text, and numbers, insert/ delete row/column, flip horizontal or vertical, negative (black) or positive (normal) line commands, rays, boxes and ovals. There is even a locking mode for drawing, plus 17fill patterns, —

flood fill and a very welcome undo key. The best feature has to be the Super— impose key. Icons can be placed side by side or top to bottom on the one

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saved to disc as a marvellous! The best way to visualise this is when when working with the date format. There are 20 number graphics, 0 9 in both left and right positions and the four date endings—st, nd, rd and th. All can be superimposed and making a date such as 20th has never screen,

then

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edit boxes, representing the four corners, top and bottom, and the sides respectively. There arex andycoordinations to help you in placing the pixels in the grid. As you draw, the border is displayed as a whole unit which gives you an overall view of how the completed unit will look. You can copy any of the edit boxes

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right the way through the Companion disc. Of the other commands, flip horizontal, vertical, or negative are as you would expect, and the bottom and right sections of the border can be flipped to make a mirror image of the top and left sides of the

border respectively. The Companion’s Font Editor lets you add your own personalisedfonts, either by editing any of the 20 fonts from Print Shop and Companion or by designing your own. The creation of fonts is a complicated and time consuming process which can really test your dedication to computing! If you wish to edit a font, say to add its an American a E sign — because Turn to Page 24 > December 1987 Atari User 23


example there are 20 bonus graphics from Broderbund software characters, have the and YOU opportunity to leave Pr'ht and _Shop Companion |03d_ up the Rm“ Shop disc Yv'thOUt rebooting. Print Usmg Shop is tremendous fun and W“? the addition Of Pm“ ShOD

backgrounds by “?ooding" them together before superimposing teXt

4 From Page 23

your card and poster similarity, Creature YOU to create original mixing and matching

Or perprogram there’s only the $ haps a series of graphical characters instead of text, then load up an existing font and edit away. To create an entirely new font takes considerable patience and an understanding of how text is created in the first place the best way is to use the built-in referencefont. This comes in three sizes: Small, medium or large. The larger the font, the greater the memory used—a small font takes up about 27 percent whilea large font can use up to 90 per cent of ?le memory Designing or creating fonts is difficult, but there are plenty of commands ayai|ab|o to assist you. Should you begin to master the font editor there is even a command to ?ip the font backwards. The Tile magic feature provides an array of 11 moving patterns very simiIar to the kaleidoscopes in the original Print Shop. Unlike the kaleidoscopes though, these can be saved to disc or passed directly to the Graphic Editor+ where you can add your own touches. The tiles can be made to enhance

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————————————_—Se I '

LAST month we looked at USR in its simplest form: X=USR(ADDRESS). But you have probably come across listings which contain far more x= seen eematex stamn USR(ADDRESS,100,A,B*5). Let's look how extra numbers and variables like

.

grams.

e

_

LEN GOLDING concludes hls look at this powerfu| command _

these can be used in your own pro.

the screen change to any colour you want. Program shows the new routine, and Program ii is the Basic translation. The routine is called usin X=USR(1536,C),where C is a numbegr n to

two-byte integer. The pardivided ameter by 256 gives the high whole-number the and part of byte, the whatever remains is the low byte. r baena n eizlrg:srirt‘)?\er' It pushes each of these two—byte 3” gage$52,122,232 we" as ADR_(A$) or 2,56*PEEK(106) values on to the stack, low byte first, matter how many

things there N9 are in the brackets, the first one IS address Of your machine always

each into a

I

" ‘

the other values in the brackets are

10 FOR X=0

parameters or arguments. As far as USR is concerned, they are just ordinary numbers, not addresses or machine code instructions or anything else complicated. You can have up to 127 different parameters, and each one can be a real number, a variable name or an expression, so long as its value does not exceed 65535' The USR function automatically stores these parameters in a form that can easily be retrieved by your machine code routine. So you can use

EXT

X

25

”f”

called

(”READ

TO

D1POKE

ztcarfgi‘iefictm'zhgstoagkevi/(?fgg

1536+X,D:N

in g like this'

104,104,104,141,198,2,96 Desrred screen colour,

0

t

TOP Of Stack

302§E18:REH 2” X=USR(1536'

C)

routine ff” aQ?Pn- the machine ?lls S'mP‘lf'es code so it’s a programming enormously, worthwhile technique to master. _

Here’s how 't works. The 6502 processor uses a specral — memory area known as the Stack vertical tube, a it as think of long, °'°sed 3? the.b°tt°m end' Data c.“ be ”Shed m“? ‘t 0“ p””ed °Ut °f 't One byte at a time, but you have access only to the one on top. If you wanted to retrieve, say, the third byte down, _

you wouldfirst haveto removethetop

two bytes. Now the ?rst thing USR does is to note its current position in the Basic program, so that it can return later, and pushes this two—byte address onto the Stath ‘OW byte f"5‘Next it takes the parameters in turn, reading from right toleft,and converts _

(6) 10 m 20 JVE (7) 30 HHJ (K) 40 SH (C)

I 7» ‘ , ——

Hi

C

1.0

R

Hi Lo

R

Program

“36“

20

PLA

‘nunber of paraoe

Discard

40

5“

STA

gister 60

of

para

(=0) Lou byte

PLA

colour

n

high byte

Discard

PLA

leter

RTS

I

remember that every parameter DU§h§3SI tWO bytes on to the stack, even lf its 0n'Y a one-byte lt '5 V'tal to

71a

Store

=

required Scree

it in

the colour re

Return to Basic

'

Program /: Modified screen colour change routine

_

_

and ?nany puts one more byte on top of the stack, to show how many parameters there were in the USR

number (less than 255), and that the number Of parameters IS pushed on to the t°p.°f the stack even 'f that

statement. Let's look at some examples. Remember our simple colour change routine from last month? It changed the screen from blue to black when you typed X=USR(1536).By adding a parameterand modifying the machine code program slightly you can make

10

ls

me code Z?fo' nuantber e

29 30 CHACT=$2F3

“5600 so ;This routine is called by: x=usr<1 536,3UITCH,RATE). SHITCH controls the 60 ; Oil/OFF function; RATE controls th Neither number may e

1,9

um #START/256 through this address

will

JSR

0180 SM CDTHA2+1 v2 counts down to 0

when

Chill

mo 0200

m

oi

High byte

SWITCH

.

pu

9155

of

(4) Lou byte

SHITCH STA

=

CONTROL

PU

”125 of

RATE

0130

"on" or

of

High byte <=Bi Lou byte

PLA

RATE

5145

STA

=

DELAY

“5“

LB! #START&255 computer where the 5165 S“ CDTHAZ'

outine starts

Program

III:

LDA

CONTROL

deSil'Ed

Hash rou

tine wanted? 0210

BNE

BLINK

if

Branch

“55 “a“

$251? 952124: “23“

STA

om

RTS

CHACT

is opaque and

to Basic 925g BLINK 0260 LDA CHACT ents of 755 0270 EOR #2 ml 2 to 0 0280 SM cam LDA DELAY 0290 sh rate every

retur

n

G3“

STA

CDTHVZ

Read cont Change

fla

Reset

tine

fr

the

routine is called

flash rate

-

I

START

Yes

{=2)

parameters 99 of

program

one

“C"flaghzggequency. Number

”3

Turn to Page 27 b

cnmz=szza coinv2=szii

Sm“ 1733

.

m??? three PLA Instructions. 0 t ese removes one byte from EtarrtsfWitt ac

'off' conand

ters‘ (=1) 30

Basic loader for Program

II:

0110 1g

number of parameters high byte of ’colour' parameter (must=0) low byte of ‘colour’ parameter (0 to 255) high byte of return address low byte of return address

1

C g

_

Basic to do calculations which machine codefinds difficult—complex arithmetic, for example then transmit the result to your machine code

l

“n

e

Tell the .

"blink"

l‘

it

R18

9315. Basrc 3323 CONTROL *=*+l 0330 DELAY *=*+1

Return

to

Modi?ed flashing cursor routine December 1987 Atari User 25


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Series 4 From Page25

store X=B

T0 46:READ

D:POKE 1536+X,D:

Plait): 2

the top of the stack and puts it into the 6502 Accumulator, Line 20 removes the number of parameters byte, which is of no interest to us so we don’t do anything with it. -

sit out 2,173,47,6,268,6,169,2,141,243 ,2,96,173,243,2,73,2,141,21i3,2 W DATA 173,48r6,141,26r2,96 Set flash routine ON (

38leans “1163772;le

-

case must be 0, since you can't store more than 255 in a colour register. So,

again, it is discarded. The final PLA retrieves the arameter's lOW byte, which is the lt)rue value °f C: and “ne 50 “Was 't 'l“° colour register 2. The RTS instruction at line 60 pulls the two remaining bytes off the stack, converts thern into a two-byte address, and terminates the USR routine by jumping to that in ram.

address

AII being well, this will restore control to your Basic program at the statement immediately following the USR call.

Everything above the return address must be removed from the stack before the final RTS is executed, othenNise the computer will wander

off into never-never land and your program will crash. That’s wh eve USR routine must contain at least ohye PLA instruction to remove the number of parameters byte—evenif there are no parameters. Programs In and IV are a bit more —

interesting: They

are based

on last

month's flashing cursor routine. By using parametersyou can gain control over the ?ash rate, and switch the routine on or off at will. The variable SWITCH turns the routine off if it's zero or on if it’s nonzero, while RATE controls the flash frequency. Neither parameter may exceed 255, so at the start of this routine the stack will look like this:

2_

SWlTCH H'

Nymber Of parameters Of SWlTCH

ngh byte

Set flash frequency

79 X'USR(1536 r SWITCH r

(must=0l

RATE L".

Li”

byte °f RATE

ngh byte

Of

return

to Low byte

of

return

R

H'

R

address address

Notice in Program III how the parameters are pulled off the stack in turn, and used by the machine code routine. Programs V and VI contain a simple routine for wiping a of spemfied area ram _ useful when you re setting up player/missne graphics or page flipping. The example given clears four pages (1024 bytes) of ram starting at address 20000, but you can change

RAT E

.

.

ma es Asiembleir?liditor “TU“ t° assemble a Pro“ .'t gram d'recf‘ly to cassette, 5° assemble 't to ram f'rSt’ the". use SAVE #C: to '

ill;- h ave ”13252531337?th

th'is pro b -

(0 t

lem: ° yotue cahn t e use)_ASMf,,#Q:lfilenamel 0 Ject m a crea lle .S'n9le operation. Now go back into BaSlC, run

)

,

/

'

6‘

1G

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(8)

TST

50 UEL

(R) T0 40:READ

X=E

£3 23; $2;

"

$3 ‘ljlfgET;

49 H9L (5)

B:POKE

l536‘l'XIO:

agx§0§ 2a om 164,164,133,2M,104,133 zna it 4 1“ ’ 42 ’ 6 ’ ml. ’ 1“ ’ 41 ’ 6 ’ 169 ’ ’ 128 154 ’ ’ E,

Program IV: Basic loader for Program //l

the parameters to sun yourself. In this example the parameter values exceed 255, so both bytes of the integer are relevant. If you can work out how the stack operates in this routine you’ve mastered the .

technique Of parameter passing. Having come this far, YOU Will “OW want to write routines of your own, and this involves translating machine language source code into Basic DAISTA Stat?mintsr.1 t is and is tedious and oing v 30: as promised last error-prone month, Program V“ is designed tO do all the hard work for you. First write your source code and check that it assembles correctly. Next 15 ;Call by x=USR(lS36,A,N) 25 START=$CB 38 mm

'

PLA

"Mb”

°f

55 69

PLA

High byte of

STA

START”

79 as

pu m

START

93

PLA

255 Lou byte

6105

STA

ll‘l’lB

PLA

0120

5“

SIZE+1 SIZE

it” SWlTCH L o levllist/tcel o of SWITCH RATE Hi High byte of RATE

bug in Atari’s cartridge Wh'Ch

a

-

£143},ll’ljzl,{lllefljllafgfllqjll’1

oqulEgrzgnetgsswhlilctzhtll:thllsglpatrltllbilg: g?zggksm?u

.

code file. There's

.

iii

DAT

it on disc or cassette in form — this is the object

assembled

paranet

of

A

A

High byte of N (= Number of pages) Lou byte of N (= “Milling bytes)

332: 4:2? 0150

LDX

35 DATA 612W,12,136,145,2li3,298,251,2 35,234,202’48’71258’2441172,“lé’z?slz

39,96

Start

of

RAM

Number

of

bytes

an START=2MM:REM 0 be wiped 50 BYTES=1624:REH

lear

area t to

c

g

70 X=USR'(1536,START,BYTES>

12 TSF ’

(4)

20 T40 (S)

T“ (l)

3”

0 ' '

SAT (T) SlX (E) 7” J” (7)

4G

W

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Program VI" Bas'c loader for Program V

V” and f0||0W the instruc— PTOQFem “one as they appear 0" the screen. Your source code Will be turned into DATA statements, complete Wlth “he Wh'Ch numbers, YOU then store In LISTed form so that they can be merged into any Basic program. Now you have mastered USR, a new

whole

programming

W0_l’ld

is

Weltlhg- You can use system timers, write vertical blanl< interrupt routines, experiment Wlth flhe scrolling, CUStOmlse of the Operating system, parts talk directly to CIO, produce fast player/missile graphics and much, much more. In fact you’ve taken the first step along the road to becoming a fully-

SIZE+1

Branch

Rm“

1

if

less th

fledged machine code programmer.

an

?ll? 35: 5180 on e pages

Erase

alt conplet

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me

so (srmm

5205 0219 $220 5235

Bug Loop INC

page to m"

START”

31999 m -code files

M: Converts object into DATA statements. 32m Dill is<i>,ast16>,cs<a),osi12) 32m ? ciiiisuzsm "Using disk or cas sette? (D or C)":INPUT As 32925 IF

.

AS="C"

THEN

BS="C:":CS="casse

DEX

ttE":D$="object file”:60T0 32m

Bill EXIT

32533 1;

sue Loop 3256 REHAIN 026i! LDY SIZE

“?u"

THEN

Bs="l>:":cs='d1‘sk"

:60t0 32m

321.0

32540

GOTO

32619

his"?! .

Erase reaaining

Ytes LOOP

Egg £2215 5295 RTS 5303 SIZE *=*+2

'

PROGRAM

Return

Program V: Erase N bytes of ram, starting at address A

to Basic

of

?

b

"con

i2ll5ll dnannie e 31m” °zgflntput 3“ _ .°° + , 35223in?lllqllnssearstlEfltlgl-aflcoliltalis ;D$:?

"and press

START”

Turn to Page 28> Program

V//-'

Convert code into DATA December 7387 Atari User 27


‘ F’°’" Page 27 32080 GOSUB 32470 32090 OPEN (21,4085 32100 GET #1,X:GET #1,X 32110 GET #1,X=GET 2‘er 32120 START=X*256*Y=S=SNRT 32139GET#11X:GET #1,v 32140 START=PEEK(106)-32:POKE 106,5TAR TZGRAPHICS 0:5TART=START*256 32150 ? CHR$(125):? ”START ADDRESS = " 23:7 32160 TRAP 32190:X=0 32170 GET #1,A:POKE START+X,A 32180 X=X+1:GOTO 32170 32190 CLOSE #1 32200 TRAP 32200:POKE 752,1z? :? ”NUMB ER OF BYTES = ”;X:FINISH=START+X-1 32210 POSITION 2,14:? "Press START to convert code into” 32220 ? ”DATA statements for use by Ba Sic" 32230 GOSUB 32470 32240 TRAP 32240:'.’ CHR$(125) 32250 ? ”At what line number do you ua nt the”:? ”DATA statements to start?" 32260 INPUT LINE:LSTART=LINE:? CHR$(12 5)

32270 011£=0 32280 ? z? :? LINE;" DATA "; 32290 7 PEEK(START+BYTE);”,”; 32300 8YTE=BYTE+1

TWO

I

I

1

=

1.

I I | I I l l . I

32360

As=~p~

11:

THEN

BS=”D:DATAFILE.TH

32370 7 ;? "1, Insert cessary” 32380 ? :?.“2. Press the DATA ?le“

32390?

:? ”DATA

RETURN

statements

to create recorded

e

xisting" 32410

.

? "program, usmg the command":? "ENTER";CHR3134);35;CHR$(3“ 32420 POKE 752,0:POSITION 2,20 32430 7 "LIST ";CHR$(34);B$;CHR$(34);" ,";LSTARTf'":UNE=P031T10N 2218 32440 TRAP 32460 32450 END 32460 ? CHRS(125):? "ERROR ";PEEK(19S) :GOT0 32370 32470 IF PEEK(53279)<>6 THEN 32470 32480 RETURN 32490 ? CHR$(126):? ”CONT”:POSITION 2, 0:P0KE 842/13=5T°P 32500 POKE 842,12:? CHR$(125):RETURN

Completeand mail subscription

I

1

Please reserve meaoopy ofAtari User magazine every month until further notice.

El lwill collect would like it delivered to my home.

Name\ Add'ess \ K \ Not. to newsagcntulurl User should be obtainable from your local wholasnlur, or annual Funk Evan", Circulation Manager on 0424 430422

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(L)

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PRINTER INTERFACE 800, XL, XE (Any8 BitAidri)

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FOR ANY 8 BlT ATARI WITH 48K RAM A micro-processorprogram development languagedesigned speci?cally for the 6502 processor that gives the power and flexibility of assemblerwithout the

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headache.

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a procedural structured language that is designed to be used as a replacement for assembler. It is implemented as a single pass compilerwhlch generates pure 6502 machine code output. PL65

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Jet Bo°t 136k WH|LE th|s superb p_|ay|ng game from the English Software Company, If You are going across the slides and up the lifts PUSh VOUT iOYStiCk Up then they will move faster_ Also play on the practice game as no monsters will appear to get in your way and annoy .

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when you arrive, wait until the next hour and try again. It isn’t worth fighting the brown mould as it only usually leaves you with a disease. There is nothing special about the clubs that you join, except that their prices are sky high. The small green dragons and wraiths can be tricked, so you don't need to fight them. After using the healer his prices will increase, so exit and walk back in again. — Granville Danby, Leeds.

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PLUG a lOYStICk lntO port tWO. type POW and after the game has started you can then move_ the creatures. To change men press f'fe - Dawd Baxter,

Franny, Runcorn.

Ange|es swat

ONCE you have fought your way to the crossroads you must fight off

Kevin Campbell, West

Mercenary 2

-

Tennls

WHEN you are serving from the top of the screen in the one-player game, always serve using a forehand as the will have no chance of returopponent ning it. — Dinesh Bhudia, Harlesdon,

London.

30 Atari User December 1987

Krazy K°pter HOVER above the platform on the right hand side of the screen. This will protect you from being shot by the

boat below. If you are very accurate with your bombs you can get extra points by hitting the missile when it appears. — Nigel Bowley, Hockley, Essex.

The Second

HERE is a tip for getting into the programmer's special cheat rooms. When you start, board the Dominion Dart and fly to a height of over 350 metres then level out. Press 9 and then keep > pressed

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increase. Lothian.

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about four sqauds of men. When the boss and the hostage appear, let them move on to the road. When they are coming from the right, just before the boss gets into your line of fire, shoot and if you time it right and are very accurate, with luck you will kill him and miss the hostage. -NigeIBowIey, Hockley, Essex.

Astromeda ‘

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TO complete the game you must first go to the herb garden and try to collect as many herbs as you can before the gardener comes after you. Then leave as fast as you can because your brother soon follows. Now go to the cauldron and mix the spells that are complete so you can use them against your brother. —

William Yorks.

.

?

4-,\"~-..' \‘-'

vow

until you reach

a speed

of

around 1781 kph. Firea bullet and as you fly closeto it pick it up by pressing T. Then fly back to location 08-08 and pick up the object that you started the game inside.

At this point fly to any elevator—the

one at location 08-01 is probably the easiest one to get to. Go underground and walk to the tri-

City

angular door. You don’t get the usual “locked” reply, and you can walk straight in. You now have the key to every door and you can get into any hanger, out of prison and amass millions ofcredits easily. It will also be easy to find the

Novadrive and the starship and escape.

intergalactic

Final quick tip: In one of the complexes out in the wasteland is a room that is bright white inside. If you walk around the room and along the walls, after a while you will find the bar chart from the exchequers. — Paul Mylet, Woking, Surrey.


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IN nice time for Christmas, here’s new from Atari — the XE Games System. With its low price, it will be at the top of lots of present lists, so let's take a look at how it

something

performs.

month we'll assess the new hardware, next month we’ll delve deeper and reveal how it compares with the rest of the 8 bit range. The first thing that hit me was the machine's new external design. Atari has put a lot of thought into this and it has paid off. The XE is very pleasing to the eye. Although there has been little change in the technical specification, both the overall design of the main board and the layout have changed. Atari is selling the XE games console in several forms (see panel on facing page). The three systems range from one that is only suitable for games up to one that can be used for any micro application and will This

32 Atari User December 1987

7,

a

baby even suit serious programmers.

We'll take

look at the individual components so you can best choose which system is for you: a

_

,

_ 'e 6 mo“ ~

"

c‘ »

sole

This is the heart of the system, and rectangular case houses what I class as the best 8 bit technology on the market. There is a serial port on the rear, two joystick ports, and sockets for cartridge, keyboard and mains. The DIN audio/video output socket found on earlier machines is replaced by two phono sockets. The parallel bus that featured on all XL micros has gone, and so has the expansion bus that appeared on the 130XE. The cartridge socket, power switch, Option, Start and Select switches are located on the top of the casing making them easy to access. a

The switches are coloured in pastel shades and add to the micro's overall looks. There’s an extra bonus built into the console in the form of the old Atari Missile Command game, a classic in its time. The console also has a built-in diagnostic test routine that Will check the ram, rom, audio channels. screen display and keyboard switches. The console comes with 65,536 bytes of ram available to the user and an operating system of around 28k. Contained within the OS is Basic, the game andaself test routine—not bad for a so-called games machine.

Keyboal'd ,

,

A standard qwerty keyboard is supplied, with the control graphics printed on the front of the keys as with the 130XE this is designed to —


—————-Review save You manuals.

time constantly referring to

The keyboard has a lovely feel to it found typing at speed very easy. Included is a Help koY: usually found Start and OPt'o“ on the 3'b't W'th_ _

and

l

Ataris. It ls

detachagtgle.

so

we?ndcan type

whatevei' posmon you

_

In

comfort-

able. This adds a WWY professmnal feel to the system. W'" be |f you POKE able 7557204 You to get an international character set u use the control key In conjunction You With key entries. _

XC12 Tape recorder tape units have, with the

Atari

410 recorder, been badly designed. The XC12 is a vast improvement in a variety of ways. The power supply is now taken from the serial lead, and most of the unit is of metal construction and so should last longer than the plastic keys and inserts on the older decks. The unit complements the system nicely, and will also match the 130XE. Whenlplugged the tape deck into the back of my disc drive I had trouble loading tapes but when plugged directly into the console it performed

exception of the very ?rst

perfectly.

Programmers have available to a palette of 256 colours and a minimum of effort all can be

.

JOVSt'Ck

them with

displayed at

The joystick supplied is a standard Atari design that dates back to VCS days. While not being the best unit available it does its iob and is fairly sturdy. When the system is powered up you are presented with the instantly recognisable blue screen with the message READY — Atari Basic is built into the console. This means that all the listings from Atari User will work fine. The loading and saving procedures for tape are the same as for the XL/XE micro. The system was fully compatible with all the commercial software packages I tried _on it — and these ranged from Mlnl Office II to Inte_rnational Karate. All the electronic add-ons ‘trled also worked on the system, including an 850 Interface Epson FX80 and Atari 1029

coin":sifsgL1°§ifsz°gzi?l2.531: and so should appeal to kids of all ages. On a disc in the reviews package was a shoot-'em-up game that uses the gun to plink at bugs on the screen and it worked fine at a fairly

11

Interrupt.

The POKEY sound chip allows you to control four channels independently, with a frequency control ranging from .06Hz to 800l-lz — so any sound effects created are quite

stunning.

m The new design is superb, very sleek and smooth. Picture quality via the TV output has been improved, giving a display that has lost the

tendency to drift out of sync. Including disc software well over 2000 pieces Of software Will work on the new systems.

box, printers.

The system will also support a disc drive mY Old 310 30d my new 1950 drives worked perfectly when loading games or Des. Atarl is bringing out a new XF-551 and hopeelse d?ye. the fully “5 des'?“ W'" match the “ow console to give a very nice |0°km9 —

. XE Computer Games Console: Includes 65XE, built-in Missile Command 517" joystick. £7995O XE Computer Games System:

SYStem-

The console '5 controlled bY a 5502 CPU and has the GTIA custom _

Includes 65XE, keyboard, light gun, built-in Missile Command and joystick, flight Simulator ll and Bug Hunt games. £11399

dedicated to the Atari range. -

are

and spectacular visual efects can be created using the DU - Display List

ggzmishicgl'hgt'hd?iigg?zgum;

nght gun

There

once.

graphics and five text modes on offer. The graphic capabilities are superb

Pack:

When these are combined you have at your fingertips some of the best 8 bit electronics to come off the drawing board in the last decade. The computer still has the 6520 PIA chip, and so interfacing techniques are the

I."CSitagter U 98 computing

.

tutorial,

730XE, XC72 cassette, centi-

pedes, Star Raiders, Miser/9 Command and Atari Tenn/s cartrldges. £73935-

same.

long range.

At the moment there is doesn't seem to be any commercial software

take advantage of the gun. However, it is easy to write your own because it works like a light pen. To get you started here is a short

H ea”

to

“we?

the techused in reading the info" niqu_es sent from the gun t° the program

to demonstrate

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30 PRINT CHR$(125):PRINT ”X=";X,”Y=”;Y men PRINT VALUES RETURNED THEN SOUND 1,64,6,11 40 IF smmms :REH MAKE NOISE IF TRIGGER PRESSED su IF STICK(0)=1/. THEN souuo 1,0,ll,0:R EM SHITCH OFF NOISE IF NOT PRESSED 60 GOTO 2|:REH

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how it compares with the rest ofthe8bit range and come to his own conclusions fU‘U’e ’” the -

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$3253 '

PROCESS

December 7987 Atari User 33


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_—_——__—__-_———

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Figure III: Component layout

4 Fmm P age 35 contact with the track. If you’re planning to run only three or four lamps on each channel, you can dispense with the heat sinks. Otherwise, smear a little heat-sink compound on the back of each triac, fit it to its heat sink and bolt the whole assembly tightly into place on the PCBUse GBA or 3mm bolts, mserted from the reverse side otherwise there is a risk that the fixing nut will bridge across two tracks. Do not solder the leads until you are satisfied that each triac is fitted correctly, and that the heat sink vanes cannot touch each other. Now it's time to test the board, and for this you will need some kind of meter set to measure around 5V. Start by inserting IC1 and connecting the joystick lead, then plug into port 1 and run Program I. Check each of _

IC1's outputs they should all Now type

1

that the first section is fully operational. Now you need to power-up the rest of the circuit. The safest way of doing this is to connect a 9V battery to the terminal block, with its positive lead going to one of the points marked GV, and its negative lead to OV. Alternatively, wire your transfor,

Q1

1.1

pins 6, 3, 8 and 11 — be high (about +5V). and hit Return. Pin 6

should fall low (OV), while the other three outputs remain high. The same should occur for pins 3, 8 and 11 when you type 2,4 and 8 respectively. If these tests work correctly, it means 36 Atari User December 1987

mer to the mains via an external terminal block, and fit the secondaries to the PCB. The specified transformer has three secondary wires. Fit the two same-coloured ones to the (W points — it doesn't matter which way round they go — and the different one to OV. Check that 5v appears at each lC

Figure Iv; Bulb layout

02

L2

03

L3

04

L4


socket — pins 14 and 7 of IC2, 5 and 12 of IC3 and 14 and 7 of 104. If not, you have probably inserted the voltage regulator incorrectly, or left out one of the wire links Insert the opto-isolator and repeat the 1, 2, 4, 8 testing sequence using Program 1, but this time check the inputs at the socket of IC4 (pins 2, 3,7 . and 6). They should 90 low In

seqf‘ence'

Program V: Basic flash with random interval program 5

PROGRAM

REM

x 1 T‘i '0

cm (s)

5

15 25

50

m

CRP

(8) 35 88V (4) KKK (9) AB

1h, ‘

.

, ’

50 FOR il=1 T0 SD:NEXT H:REH "OFF” (ill GOTO 26 5

10

6'et‘t .

well, insert lcz and attach a sow or 1oow mains lamp to each of the triac outputs, as shown in Figure

.

“G (P) ”T (7) W (i) 3“ (A)

Keyboard controlled Program 6 sequencer. Press ‘f’ to advante, '+' to go back or ESC to start again 20 x=0:REM Load the DATA into Page 6 30 READ our n=-1 THEN 60 _ 4B POKE lS36+X,D:X-X*1:IF X>255 THEN ? woo MUCH DATA":END

"it,

CAN

(5)

CRP

m

201YE (c) HKF (4) 1.0 m (K) "L0 (C) (4) 653 K”

'

be .d°“e ‘a’?rmf: Thats?" thathca" ' “ t mamsr F

59 GOTO

POKE 5401s,5a:roxe 4918,60:POKE 54616,ll

89 GRAPHICS 9B X=?

°°““e°_'"“£!is

everything satisfactory so far there should be no further problems. it's best to mount the board in a some sort of case or enclosure cardboard box will do—to reduce the risk of touching live components while you’re testing. And remember to unplug the unit from the mains before touching the board. if everything has been wired the mains lamps should correctly, light in sequence when you type 1, 2, -

4 and 8. You may like to wire a panel neon in parallel with each output, to act as a monitoring device. “These can be wired to the eight-terminal block along with the lamp leads.

You win almost certain“, want to design your own display, so there’s °°“s"“°t'°“a' "‘ 9“"“9 "me. p°"“ details here. The prototype batten was niade from aware-section piastic dralnpipe,whlch IS very cheap and available from many builders merchants or DIY stores. You might prefer to make up a number of smaller battens, say with “3“ lamps each' 5° that they can be room.

Wh atevefmet h ° d Y“ c h 0053,“ llth 3 lamps for each channel should be

3: FOUR-CHANNEL CHASER 54018,50:R0RE 54016,255:POKE 4518,60:POKE 54016,B REM

10

s

7”

TO

SPEED

SET

29

”A“ 1'2'4'8 .

Gd“

I‘tgét/ o

.

5

CAN

(5)

10

CRP

(Y)

20

SYT

(c)

PROGRAM

4

-

X=HAX

314le

169 IF

B,5:?

#6;'SEGUENCE

NUMBER

THEN

posnlon ?,?:? #6;"(

THEN

POSITION

(H)

FLASHES LIGHTS ill RA ”TH "U“ INTERVAL

5,7:? #6:"

PEEK:(R7E:A)1-22SSSPATCHEESN 160 2

pmgram IV: Basic random flash with equal intervals program REM

-

n

LAST ONE)" 153 IF

23 32: Egg W m (2) 60 6“ (E) 79 (iKV

5

NUMBER'

:

1M:NEXT H:REH

CHANiGOTD

2

130 POSITION

";x;" 10g ”l

5

..

';N;’

25 RESTORE 79 30 FOR CHAN” T0 4 All READ OzPOKE 54016,D

ll=l

54016,2s5:roRE

155 M:pEEK(1536+X) 115 pQKE 54516," -#6-'CONTROL 125 POSITION 0 1 2.9 l

PROGRAM

POKE

56 FOR 69 NEXT

Si)

”1qu

00 70

Program III: Basic chaser program 5

-

18 RE!

TIME

'

large

4“ 5“ 6“ 7“

control

3B

4. If all is

a

CA" (S) (Y) CRP

Program VI: Basic program to flash from keyboard

T0 l?zllEXT H:REl‘I ”ON" TIME 54616,B:REH SHITCH ALL CHANNEL

ll=1

FOR

f

around

10

5

edit

_

distributed

43

ii-‘GOTO

r’(9lit,

PROGRAM

FF 20090“

lethsao that potentiallv inVOived' Remember s are mains V0“?9e eded in const'm: feat care ii“, 9. testing' none “d

I

Select ra SPEED=INT(RND(0)*2M):REll

ndoli delay 69 POKE 54616,N 75 FOR "4 7° SPEENNEXT

p”

Rande

Patter"

I

2: SINGLE CHANNEL STROBE 10 POKE 54010,56:R0RE 54616,255:POKE s 4013,60:1>01<E 54016,0 20 POKE 54010,1:REM SHITCH CHANNEL 1 o 30

_

|||_

Select

40 N=INT(RND(B)*15)+1:REH

N

1

‘VI‘l‘l‘

RA

“IT“ “NW" “if?“ 54016,255=90KE 5

.

REM

1!

FLASHES LIGHTS

'

Program II' Basic strobe program 5

-

5

lagogsggwszgizo? I I

edit

I‘

Fiver"

Egogsggggrgiszgg

23 2ng Zé?lé?l

.

RE"

5

s

POKE

.

Disconnect the power suwlv. Insert IC3 and IC4, and reconnect the Iowvoltage supply. Temporarily link pins 4and 14 at the socket of lCZ: This will unlatch IC3, so that section 3 can be tested. Go through the 1, 2, 4, 8 sequence again. this time checking that the triac gates go high in the order 1,2, 3,

TEST DISCO LIGHT UNIT

1:

54018,56:R0RE 54016,255:POKE 4018,6E:POKE Slil16,ll 2” iNPUT N 10

THEN

_ X-X+1*(X<lli\)(). _

ngOISBSEEK(764)-7 180 IF REE1((76()=0 THEN 10 2M

x=x-1*(x>03:oo

PEEK(764)=28 THEN X=0 764,255:GOTO 1110 RE" Each MTAOite? represents 2"? rticular combination of channels. ° 255 "Y be programmed 190 200

2211

IF

POKE

DATA

P3

a

Up

t

9,1,5,3,12,7,2,14,4,15,?,-1

gbngsggglzgxggg' 10 POKE st013,56:RoKE 4018,60:POKE 54016,G

2l

SPEED=1M=REH

56016,255:POKE

Controls the rate

change (333 is approx 30 N=INT(RND(B)*1S)+1

1

5

of

I‘

second)

edit .

[a]

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POKE

55 FOR

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CAN

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RJG

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UHS

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120 YPN (7) 130 252 (A) 11.0 66K (0)

190 200 210

TSS

CYT

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(K)

220

TAU

(C)

150

VHX

CXD

Turn to Page 38 > December 1987 Atari User 37


4 From Page 37

wired in parallel, as shown in Figure IV.

Number 54016 0 1

2

3

ON

7

OFF

01:1:

3

OFF

ON

9

ON

11

OF F

12

ON

13

FF

Output

15

ON

0N

OFF

ON

OFF

ON

ON

OFF

Pi"

0N

ON

ON

PORT

ON

ON

OFF

neously — however briefly - it's best to keep the total power drain to about 300 watts per channel.

0N

oFF

ON

seconds, and no more than two channels are on at the same time. If the on period is likely to be longer than this, or all channels will be on simulta-

ON

OFF

ON

01:1:

10

OF F

ON

ON

programmed pattern sequence. The unit can handle 500 watts per channel so long as the load is switched on and off every couple of

OFF

ON

ON

OFF

6

OFF

ON

OFF

ON

5

OFF

ON

OFF

OFF

4

OFF

OFF

ON

ON

OFF

OFF

ON

OFF

OFF

OFF

OFF

ON

are

very easily programmed, and we have listed a few ideas to get you started. Table I shows the numbers which must be POKEd into address 54016 to switch on any given combination of channels. Program II is a simple strobe, acting on one channel and Program "I is a four-channel chaser. Program IV flashes lights randomly at a constant rate, while Program V flashes them randomly at random rate. Program VI shows how you can generate a pre-

OFF

OFF

OFF

OFF

Table I:

The lighting effects available

ChanA

I“

PORT 2

1

12341234

number

0 Table II: Switch control numbers

switching

PARTS REQUIRED FOR 4-CHANNEL DISCO LIGHTS CONTROLLER

Maplin 4

Maplin

Code

R1-R4 R5 R6

820 ohm (4 off) 100K 1 Watt 10k

M820R

gig-R11

123"; o ff)

Mhzgzl;

1

M620R

1

R12-R15 C1

C2 -C3 C4

ICI.

IC4

0.1mfd miniature disc 1000 pf (Inf) ceramic 0.01 mfd miniature disc 74AC00I2off)

£2

323952

D1 -D3

1 N4004 (3 BC? 17

TRI SCR1-SCR4 T1

C100K

M10K

620 ohm (4 Off) 470 mfd 25V

off)

C206!)Triacs (4 off) 6~0-6v transformer Quad epic-isolator

w

14-pin Dll. sockets (3 off) 16min DlL sockets (2 off) Right—angie 9-pin D socket 38 Atari User December 1987

_

WH49D RA13P FL58N BFOSR BF18U HQOOA

6 Vgned Ax Ma” RHsink olts SBA nuts Silicon grease *

pac k pack

FF1GS YR7SS

WX68Y

Code RK38R

8-way PCB block (2 Off) Fuse clips (2 off) * 6.3A anti-surgefuse * heat (4 off)

.

All the above components are available from: Maplin Electronic Supplies, P.O. Box 3,

YR73Q

UH67X

Essex

L322? QL76H 0834511

sse

Tel: 0702

8LR.

552911

Rayleigh,

The printed circuit board (order code DBP16) at £4.88 and joystick extension lead (order code AT111) at £2.99 are

W024B WBOOA YY63T

availablefrom:

-

'

BL18U

'

'

~

BL‘ISV FGZSC

*

These

components may not

be

needed

see text


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BRUCE WOODLAND provndes a utility for a programmable interrupt driven joystick .

3:3

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When the routine is run it Will set up machine coee prOan

interruPtldrlven '" page 6' Th-'s “53W gram resbdmg routine Will scan move constantllly_ joystic doystick

gait; izdkégtizg?tsé

lt accomplishes this by sampling input from the port, translating it into the required internal key code and writing this information to the key-

board register at regular intervals. This sampling rate is normally matched to the keyboard auto-repeat, but if the fire button is pressed the time delay between the sampling is shortened.The routine has two modes of Operation and YOU can toggle between them by pressing Opti0n~ When the program is in memory

since a definite address must be inserted as a vector and the keyboard addressed by direct indexing methods. This means the routine is disabled by pressing Reset, bUt It can be re _-Implemented by :

directly relocatable

:.-'

.

.

and running you are presented W'Fh a menu Of keyboard inputs against JOY‘ are th's Y°U| ues sti?kdntgvementsh. as e you WlS oacceppint?eva as they are, or to enter new values. The program will offer you all eight joystick movements and you enter the

f“

I

corresponding keyboard functions.

The fire button is always linked to the spacebar. At this time you are in the first of the two modes and this ties the Control key to all inputs from the joystick,

-

CALL=USR(1S36) If you find this utility usefulyou may wish to modify it as a non-resettable AUTORUN.SYS file. The routine could then be stored above Dos and below LOMEM leaving page 6 free for other

uses.

0 RE! r———-—-—-————-—-:

“a

in! 2 mi l—_i 3 REM iml l mu t——I 5 RH! ,—'

190

1

RE!

5 man

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Without the link Simply get standard keyboard entry. The machine code routine is not

«n

ffjgri‘w) n/ ‘

screen.

the

fats” ,‘4

WHEN you write programs 't '5 often bOth cursor key necessary_to P’°‘."de the" options ioystick t? Widen and the micro CPU“ -be user ap.peal.'lf into interpreting a |oystick fooled as mp‘“ a P’edes'gme" keyp’ess the best Of both user WOUId ha)” the and you d have less programworlds ming to q?" This utility allows you to ignore mysticks as you write your program, but still make use of them in the final product- To do this, first type in the listing, remembering to use Get it Right |” and save 3 COPY to d'50 or tape-

«4

*

M

second mode is to Control and v ou -

“?aw?“

fr“:,i-'i'§:‘§-¢f?3 ff“ 1.3) a"?

9-33] "M; x: '~

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allowing you on-screen editing fea— tures from the joystick. To indicate that you are in the editing mode a flashing cursor is present and if the fire button is pressed the cursor will whizz around

?ag-?ak

,

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December 1987 Atari User 39


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$1621; éfff/sfif‘?/éfy‘mmninusz

THE CONTROLLER CARD DESKTOP MANAGEMENT SYSTEM EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE ATARI l30/65XE AND 800XL COMPUTERS

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Adventuring

”d M l k bu PHEW! Never thoughtlwas going to make it in time forthis month’s issue. There I was in Tervania (a small vilIage — turn left iust past Outer Mongolia and it’s first on the right) surrounded by a thousand slavering orcs. I’d have preferred to have

thwacked a couple of hundred or so before took my leave, but time was I

pressing.

Unfortunately, my transportation

spell came out a bit wonky for some reason still can’t fathom. I said Pockstorp at the place in the incantation where I should should have said Stockport and found myself'in an aborigine’s hut somewhere in the I

I

Australian outback. Since then my spell has become 3 little depleted in power so I had to fly back across the world on a broomstick old-fashioned and undignified but at

worked.

least it

Still, it’s an ill wind and all that. On the way back, stopped off for a quick oil change on the broomstick and bumped into my old friend Brillig from Atari ST User — he had just popped into the same garage for a rebore job on his wand. We got chatting and he happenedto mention that he’d found a bug in lnfocom’s The Lurking Horror and my readers might also be I

Guild of Thieves, Jinxter is a modern and humorous tale set in

and

Aquitania.

The green witches are gaining power in Aquitania, thanks to the dispersal of the pieces of a lucky charm bracelet. Your task is to retrieve all

seven pieces and

The interesting thing

is that you can’t get killed while your luck holds

interested. If you have the brass hyrax ring, take it into the terminal room where the hacker sits and drop it. Then say “Wear ring” and the program will respond by asking whether you mean the hacker’s keyring or the hyrax ring. If you then indicate that you want the keyring, the program tells you that you can’t wear it. But examine your inventory and you’ll find you've got it —green keys, yale keys and all the rest. Nice bug, even if it’s not much use to

its next from Rainbird Magnetic Scrolls adventure called Jinxter is well under way and should be available soon — it may even be out by the time you read this. Featuring the same superb graphics and sophisticated parser as The Pawn Hot news

.

getting back to

read the latest batch of letters has more than once spurred me to greater efforts to escape from rat— infested dungeons in foreign climes. My thanks this month go to Adam Turn to Page42 >

out. Instead, if you have a lethal encounter, you’re dumped just past the hazard, thus allowing you to continue further into the adventure. Now that really sounds like good news for all acoldent prone adventurers. The mailbag has been groaning ever louder of late and I'm afraid that I’ve a little catching up to do. Don’t despair if you don’t get a mention or have to wait a while before your name pops up in this column —I get so many letters it is simply not possible to find room to include all of them. But rest assured that Ruoloc reads every single one of your missives with great interest and admiration — and very grateful he is, too. The thought of

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Adventurin

HlntS & tlps

4 From Page 41 Marshall of Penrith in Cumbria for his tips on The Price of Magick and Alternate Reality. especiallyliked one

me” then “examine all”, the program will list out all the items in the game. Ty also wonders what race I come from. Well, you’ve seen my handsome picture printed on the previous page fairly regularly so you should have no trouble in guessing that I am a dwarf of the magical variety. My feet really are that big I do a lot of walking on account of my regular faulty recitation of transportation spells — and l have to have all my shoes specially made by the Seven League Boot and Shoe Company. Speaking of small folk, Level 9 has written an adventure about one of my old flames—a young bossy gnome by the name of Ingrid Bottomlow. The adventure is called Gnome Ranger and it’s a corker — watch these pages .

.

ln the hints and tips, I am to be able to help Andrew Blair of Glasgow with Mordon's Quest, Bob Stacy of Cardiff with The Lurking Horror, Peter Goulden of Lincoln with Arrow or Death Part II, Mike Proctor of Shrewsbury with The Pawn, and Dean Reynolds of Solihull with Leather Goddesses of Phobos. For these and many other readers, help is always at hand. I’ll try not to get lost next month —I plan to buy a new transportation spell. If I do manage to get here without a hitch, maybe I’ll let you have a list of how all the points in The Pawn are awarded. How’s that for a treat? Until then, exciting adventuring!

Flnally,

.

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in the cage

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chocolate into the Eggr ht“? cage elng Strali’ped down. Once in the c:93' eat the Chocolate

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THELURKINGHORROR 0 Horrible with the hanrggnster keeps flying Off Drive the creature aw 3V b t h stone at lt lnslde the y rowin dome, Lise wn to the SkVS‘3fal7er roof and dogg it again.

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MORDON’S QUEST

. Having a tough tim e with the gorilla?

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his for the tor:at w tips enever youlattert e c ance, ge _thhea'dwses always try to trick giants as they are very thick and very rich! Paul Clark in Positano was grateful for our map of Worm In Paradise in the August 1987 issue of Atari User, but is still having trouble with the Basic listing because using the Eden system he keeps getting a gansport Im error. I thought the program was correct and that the error must be caused by Paul's typing, but is anyone else having the same problem? I name mayete,have ut 1gotHhis incomp uneaton y ays offirNSt was not impressed with the same map — but at least it gave him the incentive to get stuck back into the game. He does mention one peculiarity of Worm which I haven't yet had time to check out for myself. He says that if you go to the police station, type "give

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Has upgrading your computer 9'V3" you hardware you no longer need? Or |°ft V°u have changm? intern“ YV'th unwanted software? Thon THIS is the place to advertise your surplus items. Atari User readers are always on the lookout for a bargain and this . . is the fl r st p I ace th ey i oo kl

Classi?ed advertisements will be accepted under the following conditions: o This service is EXCLUSIVELY for the use of private readers. No trade ads will be allowed. e To avoid encouraging software piracy, all ads will be carefully vetted before they are

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is no maximum to the number of words you include in your ad. If there is insufficient room on the form, continue on a separate sheet of paper. 0 The cost is 20p per word, with a minimum of 10 words. . We GUARANTEE your ad will appear in the January issue (on sale December 23) p r OV d "9 t S r ece iv ed by November 27.

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OAtari130XE,800XL,1050(US 1029, Doubler) joysticks, recorder, discs, cassettes, carts, books, mags etc £425 o.v.n.o. Tel: 0905 779290 after 6pm. 0 For sale 130XE 1050 diSC drive, 850 interface £165. Tel: Robin Holland 0308 862426. 0 Disc drive with Archiver £85 o.n.o. 1029 printer £90 o.n.o. either c/W speech sampler. Tel: 021 747 3618 evenings. 0 To sell Gauntlet Summer

Gamesl, Trailblaze disc only £8.50 each. Also Quickshot, Voltmace, joysticks £7 each, extension leads 6+ foot £4.75 each. Tel: 0733 266366. 0 800XL for sale £30- Tel: Oxford 52270 ask for Hugh. 0 For sale or trade Silicon Darkness, Dreams, Jewels Ultima3, Ultima4, Mercenary compendium, Realm Imposslblllty, original discs. Mr J Munro, 68 Stockbrldge Cres,

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0 Atari 800XL, .

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for the next now -

ISSUE

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Q Atari 800XL, 1050 disc drive, 1010tape rec, discs, tapes £200, Tel: Dan 0202 696497. 0 Atari touch tablet and soft— ware £19. Write: Philip Conibere, 21 Durleigh Road, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 7HX. Q For sale Atari 800XL, 1050 disc drive, cassette recorder with 150 titles including Ultima |v, Trivial Pursuit, Ieaderboard/ tournament, Autoduel micro baseball league complete quauterbook and many more £250 o.n.o. Write or Call MrA M .

10 Norris, Molescombe, Fairwater, Cwmbran, Gwent.

and books/magazmes as newm original packaging £350 o.n.o.

Tel: Cwmbran 66420. 0 Dragons tan, toolkit, antegrated library, 3DS discs £15. Tel: 0664 822835. Q 130XE 1050 disc drive, 1029 printer, touch tablet and games_ Ex condition £280. Tel: 0767 51192 Q For sale two 800XL5 one 1050 disc drive, one 1010 recorder, three discs, four cartridges, seventeen cassettes £250. Tel:

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Atari 130XE, XCII data recorder, Quickshot || joystick, popular games, cassettes and text books £200 Tel: 01 882

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December 1987 Atari User 43


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HAVE you ever had problems with the Atari’s CAPS key? This ?ve line program provides a cure by giving a visual indication of whether the computer is in control lock. uppercase, lowercase or

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D:POKE I ,D:T=T+D:NEXT I:IF error, please checkT<>84l3 THEN ? "DAT again.":END

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.x:X+DX:Y=Y*DY1P=P+DP:Q:Q+DQ'COL0R g'PlOT X,Y=C0L°R 31W” P,Q:GOT03

YN

USER,

709,56zFOR 1:1 709 ’ 15:F 0 1:1

1

bright white.

E

”is

CHRISTMAS

”0m ”ARI

POKE

M H EN

I,Y+ZE:DR

X,11:PLOT X-1,‘l?:DR X,9:DR’illilT0 ** MERRY **

Xfm?’?

colour register 709.

709with569ivesadullredand15 gives a

P+DP,G+DQ'R=

_

STEP 1G:FOR

.

~

LOCATE

:?

OKE

-(5=5 on 4 5=STICK(0):IF s<>15 ' THENRDSX:11).DY=( 0 S=6 OR S=7)-(5=9 OR 8:19 S

”Mm

si

2

S:13)‘(S=14)

SI

TO

T0

PLOT

:? 5a

Y=10

x+Y/2 STEP 2:PLOT IzY+21=NEXT I=NEXT Y

AUTO

ti]

Prints the Christmas message in the text window. 50 The tree lights are made to flash by the changing of_the colour register 709. value This register also affects and the the textflashes With message the lights. Poking

SticklO) V3|Ue

1

2:FOR

I=X-Y/2

'

Y

.

Direction 0f player Locate value Of player

_

-

COLOR

the message in line 40 to be pos— itioned Without the POSITION command and thus reduces the length the line. Draws tohf e Christmas tree. Draws the tree lights using the colour

POSition Of

I,Y+2

-

graphics Mode 7, sets up colours for the background and the _tree. Makes the mVISlble and sets the left cursor margin. The dummy PRINT statement enables the new left to come into effect margin value away when the message straight is printed in line 40. This combination enables

?at

by

i

M

PROGRAM BREAKDOWN

ta statemen ts The preram to control the usesmiit of the comBoo an statements to puter and uses moveI ef the player with control movements The a the joystick, ntage of using they are fast these statements are and do not take Up much sp ace in the

DX'

.

flashes them on and off

'

'

-

.

.

lines.

Y

-

I=X-Y/2 TO X+Y/2:PLOT X,Y:DRAIilT0 ?'NEXT I'NEXT

five liner is a Simple demonstrate the graphics program to capabilities of Atari computers and it also sends a seasonal greeting. The drawsa Christmas tree with program lights and THIS

.

x

5Ny

SK7

gff/c/é/ééf//

-

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-

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.

DP. DQ

—dPp role— atO‘lVOT cessed £5 Atari User, Europa House. 53 Chester Road, Hazel Grove, Stockport,

erably

f

the game are as for the ?lm' lf ou nenyt's crash your cycle in to YOUr trail you will die and the opgzpplies sa’f‘; ie d walls if you crash into the electri that enclose the p|ayf|e|d. The most remarkable thing about e is the fact that you have a the gar? e compu r opponent racing against you — and a“ the '3 aCh'eVEd '” f'v e

.

25

documentation

are relevant. And remem ber it you “(ant Y°“" material returnlng enclose a 5“ alga): stamped package .

pu$glslhggbu|dgive

Pl Q

tape togeth-er wnh

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send them to us to grace our pagesEZS for each one PaV

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December 1987 Atari User 45


__________—________________—_____—

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some

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33st Gain the of Ten

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Wheth e, on _ lsplay on yowGenefat a very impressive 80 Screene co,“ mn re,“ the latex Get It Right: r Corre ct’y O’De In help you 4

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he dead‘y through t obstadeS our 5 pacecfaft -— the spacemaze “2th mnar surface h monster around caverns Guide YOU’ be‘?w of inha ermine _"' | bu t beware an the money “35326 O urite oneybagSt hlS favo Frank ea — Help sinister l

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User.

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USE‘fuI

F

from the pages of Atari Whether you like games or prefer more serious pursuits there’s something here for you an d y ou can also learn a great deal from_examlnmg and modlfying the Basic listlngs.

i'

Ofmano n

Make fin Atari 1022 ~ Load Ou

pictures artiovc/Atarmmst Ast‘zg’fantasnc w

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Bounder was the game you liked best of all. Now, in BOUNDEI? PLUS, we ”ve made it even better — with SIX exciting new screens to test your dexterity. Bounce up and down on the s P rin 9)’ tram P oline to hit the man y tar 9 ets while avoiding the balloons. [XL and XE only./

ON LY

.

.

.

233,221?

.

.

.

.

95

eac .

.

.

ust £1.95 each when

or

you take out to Atari

y our

h

a new

subscription

User or if you renew existin subscri tion. —

,

ATM/87

“5.5

f;


Mailbo 9

————————————

l Basic and have written a program to draw and fill triangles in different colours. But I have come After orange,

drawing

a

Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Age

11_

the on endin graph?csmoge you choose

.

.

on on

red,

blue and green triangle in Graphics Mode 7 / found that when / tried to use different colours they didn’t work. Can you explain why this is? __ James Cox, De

to work in, you are restricted to the allowed number of colours _ this is usually proportionate to the resolution of the mode. For example, in Graphics screen Mod‘e reso utionyoufhaves o 160 y 96 in fourcolours onafull screen. But in Mode 11 you have a resolution of 80 by 192 pixels in 16 colours, and this will take up roughly 8k of

colour you wish

a pixel to be you must first know the limitations of the mode you are working in. It is also possible to alter by usindg tthe e sgéeregoclj-iCSf'i‘lay comman This will change depending on what mode you are usmg full details can be found and in any Atari Basrc manual. Here are the. effects created on 3 Graphics Mode 0 text screen:

on screen

.

SETCOLOR 1 , A , B wi I! alter the intensity of characters on screen. SETCOLOR 2,A,B will alter the screen colour. SETCOLOR 4,A,B Will alter the border colour. A is the colour you want, and can be a number from 0

— I

.

Looplng lnto trouble WAS playing around with

I

myAtari 400 and wrote this ~

Simple program. 10

F-‘I _

FOR

T0

.

255

PRINT CHR$(F); 3a PRINT F

Zli

40

FOR

N=1

Sil

NEXT

F

T0

2M:NEXT

various different things to happen as shown in the table below. As you can see, the control codes are scattered throughout the fd | oop th a t you d eme f’“ d to V'eW

Izzrgisstivxgxlifggg?: -

N

When I ran it the computer seemed to go haywire and refused to do what it was supposed to do. Is my computer broken? And if not, can you explain what exact/y is happening? — G. Abott, Glenrothes, Fife. O Firstly, your computer is not broken. The answer is very simple:As the program its

loop and goes through prints CHR$(F) to screen it is

encountering Ascii control codes.

These codes will cause

Escape Blank space Clear screen EOL or Return Keyboard beep

you add 128 to the Ascii character it will appear video. For in inverse example, ?CHR$(65) will give you A, but if you add If

a

128

14.

So by

the

playing around with

and SETCOLOR comman COLCgiR syou can produce

various

patterns

and

shades. _

PaCklng |n a word _

Faulkner,

Barnstaple, North Devon. Q The BBC Micro has space inside for several roms. These work in a similar way to cartridges on your Atari, bl“ you

then give

?CHR$(193)

you will get an inverse capital A.

wr

pens

'

out ' you

betlgzealy:

Winners. The address.fhe

Mailbag Editor Atari User

,

Europa House 68 Chester Road Hazel GroVe

Stockport

SK7 5NY

keeping the numbers the a once. 0 a canthazle moreéhan -

presen

cartrld 9 e-based word ‘p rocessor such as Ataanteris _

the

Vazlgvcjagegomo?th

could

is a built-in word processor. Is it possible for me to ?t one to my Atari 300XL in the same

one

we

Get your

noticed there

A-

.

STA

start

IN my first few computer lessons on a BBC Micro l

TENNER,

bag pages.

processor

way?

WIN A for the Most int pr|_zes letters sent to u$erestmg So now there: more reason than ever? o coptribute to our livel Y mail-

e q uivalent

of

a

_

built-in

one.

sam e, b ”t decnded that the advanta 9 es th a t cou id b e . gamed by a completely new Program outwelg h d h e

'

GGttlllg

-

Iished for the old Get it Right! still compatible with this new super high speed version? Brenda Tenny—

son, Sandbach, Cheshire. new Get it Right creates a different checksum to the old program and so

0 The

makes the two incompatible. We considered

t

advantagesofcompatlbility. For example, a feature that the new ro ram has that the old oxfe gidn't is a running cumulative checksum. 7”;

IN the November 1987 issue of Atari User you published Get it Right lll. Are the checksums that you pub-

,

,

te_

-

-m

of

15. B is the brightness or luminanceof the colour and is an even number from 0 to

es

to

it ?ght

code 27 32 125 155 253

nan

u

7

memory before you start. But a Mode 7 dispiay will only take up around 4k. When deciding what

to

route

asrc

..

,,-

Tweened cartoon AFTER typing in the excellent Tweening program from the November 1987 issue of Atari User I drew a cartoon character and tvveened him between Turn to

Pago48>

December 1987 Atari User 47


_——'_—_—_—

bed and the beeping keeps waking them up. that W'l?was to]? 65’17/ a turn t '5 "0,88 P055 9 O." Ataris, but when I tried it the beep was still there. Could

4 From Page 47

NAQU Mailba

two positions. I then printed out the individual screens of t h 03 ElieaniIr/nationdusmg or car screen deump .

.

.

9

1

1

you tell me how to

“22:50 '

WE welcome letters from readers about your the Atari micros, about tips you experiences using toggzgrlirftgggktgyirggnmdp; would like to and about what pass on to other users. I flick the pages quickly I you would like to see in future issues. have a simple animated The address to write to is: cartoon.

.— rid. of . thisannoying soun got HaWke$, Southend, Essex. OThe beep that comes from from an XL/XE computer ‘5

.

.

Editor Mautmg Am... User Europa House 68 Chester Road Hazel Grove Stockport SK7 5Ny

Thank you for a superb .. , utility — l m sure that With a little patience/could makea full length cartoon using it. .

-—

Philip Marston, Armitage,

Wadd Soft.

generated tthUQh th? TV

But on an Atari 400 speaker. is a small speaker ins id the micro _e Th's can easily be turned °ff by ”"p'ugg'"9 the we

there .

'

.

from the board altogether or placmg a SWItCh between it and the speaker.

I

-

No terlaI .

pursult .

experience the maof companies low)" today consrder customer relations to be a triV/ality. lam very pleased to say that there ’Sa that C?" be company bothered to be polite and helpful N03h50ft~ When l bought a product called the PL65 compiler tr om them. I had_trouble mc’qu-‘J l’b’?’y ?le? that contain other library ?les on —

-

cartridge or Mac/65 from Optimised System Soft-

I

contacted

company and_th8y re_ plied With-the solution tomy p rob/em m a very eff/oient ”7,6

and helpful way. — Lee Fuller, Romford, Essex. '

M'ISSIIIg locatlons .

l RECENTLY

bought a tape version of International Karate. I enjoy sport simulations and I was very keen to play the game. The instructions say that you fly to eight different locations around the world and fight in each, but when I Started to play! found, to my horror, that / only have two locations to fight in.

Later I went to visit a friend who has a disc drive and I was surprised to ?nd 48 Atari User December 7987

loads new location screens, is easy on a disc version, but if you were to load a new screen from tape the

which

game would take far too long to complete.

othelrs;c o tage e Tlhefse, e rom severa availab advertisers in Atari User.

0 ar d 3 h arp cornered SOME people might have

noticed something odd about the Knockout Whist program in the September 1937 issue ofAtari User ' . A part from the ?rst round the computer always seems

Assembler

to win when random trumps

_

chosen. I checked through the program and

are

reqlured

spotte d

BEING new to computing and very willing to learn, / wasattempt'm to fQ/lowme

god nre ohjvnlciels iey. Bart/fie u,ryas by, may, ljust keep getting

th e pro bl 3"? and occurred corrected it With the followmg changes: 8m RET=B:IF tiioo=ii THEN TR: INT(RND(G)*4)+1:GOT0 8M!

don’t know how to

dis-

able Basic and input the machine code program which you published in the March 1987 issue of Atari User. The article doesn't

how to do this and

explain so I was

W h ere

This solves the problem of

biased

trumps.

Simon

Bawyer, Winchester, Hants.

Sound 0 f s H e nce

wondering if you could

answer this for me? M. KIOSS. Tamworth, Staffs. —

0 To enter any machine

code program you need an assembler language such as the Atari Assembler/Editor

_

OWN an Atari 400 and was wondering how to turn off the noisy beeping sound I I

get whenever/save or load. [use my computer mostly at night when everyone is in

_

Nlce Ilne In |anguage .

/ RECENTLY bought Turbo Basic from StON‘SOft {Md was stunned by the quality Of the P’OdUCt- The package contains the Basic with a compiler and although it doesn’t contain all the commands that you get with other Basics, say for example Basic XL, it does leave the old Atari Basic Ian 9 ua Q e standin 9 . So if you feel like a new language for your Atari I would recommend you try

it-

A-

Dorset. _

Griffith, Wimborne,

-

Pl‘llltlllg out a

8520 60m 808“

stuck. I

and

ware.

{N .my

to my data disc.

that his version has the eight locations. Why is it that tape owners always seem to lose out on Mark Haddon, games? Hertford, Hertfordshire. .The prowem Withthetape version of International Karate concerns loading time. The game constantly

d ocume “t

IHAVE had Mini Of?ce II for four months now and think it's a great package, but! do

have one small problem with the spreadsheet. When I save data from that module and then try to load it into the word processor to print it out in a document all I get is a mess of characters. Am I using the package wrongly?—Monica Harris, Maidstone, Kent. 0 You're using the package correctly, but I’m sorry to


Mailbag

say that the spreadsheet with only ics co grap hintegrateks pac a e. Ythe could print out thge part of the spreadsheet you want and then print the

document.

card for th e GSXE AFTER reading the review for the 03 Controller card in the November issue of Atari User / decided to buy one and have jt ?tted to my

uterhouse, where [y obtalined very prompt and professional 730XE b

Com

service. I

am about to

buy

to receive teleprintersignals

'

'

cruel tO Edge FOR a while now I have been programming using OSS’s Mac/65 cartridge to write routines that can be called from Basic. In order to test them I have to remove my Mac carthe tr/dge and reboot system with Basic. All this removing and replacing isn’t exactly beneficial to the cartridge edge connector. Do you or any of your readers know of an edge connector extension that could be ?tted to save wear

CONNECTIONS and tear? Or better stil/a device that could be ?tted between the cartridge port and the cartridge that would allow me to switch the cartridge out without having to remove it? — A. Crawford, Laceby, North Grimsby. Q If you own a 130XE the supra hard disc interface would give you a vertical slot for your cartridge. This will reduce wear and tear on the port on the computer.

computers and was wondering if the card will plug into it. Keith Pattison, Middlesbrough, Cleveland. O The card you bought is designed to work on your —-

13OXE only, but Computer— house is planning to bring one out that will fit inside the 65XE-

Doctor Boris di agnOSIS '

! TYPED in the program Doctor Boris from the October 7987 issue of Atari User and checked it very carefully but I still get an Error8at line 1020. lfI take out this line the runs, but not program correctly. Is there an error in this line? — Michael Cain, Beeston, Nottingham. Q The listing that appeared in the magazine contained no errors. The message for Error 8 is: INPUT/READ type mismatch error: Attempting to enter a non-numeric value fora numeric variable. Check your data statements between lines 1040 and 1510. You will probably find that your mistake is

somewhere there. It may well be that you have a letter instead of a number, a comma at the end of a line, full stop instead of a comma or an extra comma were there

shouldn't

finally print them out?-—Sid Thompson, Leyland, Lanes. QWe don't know of any programs or add-on that will do

what you want, but the Radio Society of Great Britain may be able to tell you of a product to solve your probIem. Their address is: Radio Society of Great Britain, House, Potters Bar.

Lambda Herts.

'

Addlng

0“

to the 800XL

a new

65XE games console to add to my collection of Atari

on my radio and pass them to m 800XL so I can view themy on the screen and

be one.

enter a poke. Also most on the games software market today require you to switch Basic off, which makes itvery difficultto give you any pokes on the Hints and Tips page.

A LOT of computers these days seem to have the

expansion

capabilities

for adding a necessary second processor, the most common of which is the Z-80. Is there such an add-on for my 800XL? —

Steve Ward, Newcas?e_

Helpfu|

POkeS fOr

review

games

,

’ OWN

IS it possible for you print

some pokes forAtari games like those I’ve seen for other computers? Or is there

something unusual about games on the Atari that makes this impossible? Sean Canningh, London. C With a lot of computers —

the games are loaded using a Basic loader routine. This can often be modified or pokes can be entered first and remain active as the program runs. But on the Atari, machine code games are loaded a using procedure called Boot. This is done by a combination of the Start, Option and Select keys being held down as the computer is switched on.Thiscausesthe gamelsl to be loaded directly into memory so there is no way you can

Panason’c KPX-

59

very

u on-T ne. QpQuitey a while ago Atari did mention that it was about to ort e it comprocessorbringrriiutsabsecond puters. The package was called the Atari CP/M

Module and was an external microprocessor Upgrade greshed Ie'revreig’r e7°.” that would allow CP/M softfhue g ho” 12577” issue 0”1. ware to be used on all 8-blt Atari 6:3er Ataricomputers. After lreading it / ThlS add-on plugsmto the de d t serial port and offers the pr'oicee _otexpercrimde_nt features: gvergjyaegtn if]. in, ifs" following features Thagk ”of: aging 0 Z-8O microprocessor su erb review kite them 0 4.0 MHz DrOCGSSlng cofnin Mike Bfrstow ' speed Birchwib d ' Cheshire 0 64k ram "7 70!“

W535 pf’gt?’ m t77nd

f

.

_

_

'

Amateur radlo -

THERE must be thousands of amateur radio operators worldwide who, like me, are also

Atari computer fans.

But could you tell me if there is a program or interface that will enable me

O CP/M 2.2 operating system 0 40/80 column video

output (switchable) 0 Serial input/output port 0 Monitor output Unfortunately, Atari never this package in Britain, which is a pity because it would have been popular on a market that is always crying out for more. released

December 7987 Atari User 49


_____________—_________________________._

M

m

or 1« ms 011mm mum,

mums

m?i’l‘m“

-

the magical of Kero vma!

Enter world

/

VE UP To o

This fascinating adventure features the most

sophisticated parser around: You can type complex sentences and interact with the many characters, some

including

E1

intelligentanimals.

very

This superb package includes

44-page novel and

a

p inv

my;

-~

Giff}

135;

f

cryptic help section.

of

6

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1 g? gt, {N

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Guild of Thieves is the long-awaited ye?t e if to the follow-up award-winning 5 79 1 adventure, The Pawn. fwieosf You're back in the fantasy world of 987 f? Kerovnia, in the role of a novice thief who has \ applied to become a member of the illustrious Guild. To prove your worthiness you must ransack an island of all its treasures. There are 29 beautiful illustrations, a massive is} vocabulary, and a text parser which is claimed to be more sophisticated than the parser in the lnfocom-adventures. ffx-t l [527515]; .

5

, 7

T3

‘.

s.

1

if},

3

is,

f

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friga- ii

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.

it

. _

f(,

—Anthony Ginn, Atari User,

_,

(”a

“xx. W

_

'

The program took three man years of programming time to produce and it shows. The Pawn is the stuff from which cults are made. —

'

,.,.

l

,

,—

33

ff',’

?g;

5?Al a

W

.

: ”1,111 I “i

,

i

”ll

jl ii '

is an absorbing, 6 This adventure and

.

guaranteed to be another

i ii

funny and tantalising

f

sure-fire winner for Rainbird.

,

Bob Chappell, User, October 1987 —

. ' '

L

"

Atari

,

MM“

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But

'

|

52 Ar

-


_____——_'og

ramming

Your programming problems solved by ANDRE WILLEY I’VE had

a

tremendously varied set of

questions from you this month, starting with a problem from Timothy Harrington from Portsmouth who's having trouble with his memory. l have been a regular reader of ‘ Atari User since 1.985 and now have quite a library of your games on disc together with a menu selection program which runs them. I have slightly modified each program so that when I have ?nished playing the game/can press an exitkey to re-run the menu program where any of the games can be selected and run. Generally this works efficient/y, but ifthe previous game has used Player/

Missile Graphics or machine code vertical routines which many do lines of squares are left flickering across the screen. These can only be cleared by pressing the System Reset key. Sometimes the following game will not run atall or the screen display is corrupted and often the only way to _

_

islto power off and restart

cure this

from scratch.

Obvious/y data is being left behind in the memory by the preceding pro— gram and this is interfering with the next one. For example, if/ run Cubes

in Space after Chopper Rescue / usually find that once I have com leted the first screen of Cubes l.) nothing happens, or only the bottom of the screen moves to the left. Is there —'” W’'// ”m babl y have to be “own" written in machine code to be fast enough to clear out any left behind data? It is awful/y inconvenient to have to re-power every time. , '

Well Timothy, there are actually a number of problems to be considered to allow you to freely move between Basic game programs. Firstly, as y0u have noticed, Player/Missile Graphics don’t clear themselves properly when you have finished with them. Secondly you might find that some Vertical Blank or Display List Interrupt routines are still running. Finally the program might have adjusted some of the 03 or Basic work variables — such

the Display List pointer or the top of memory indicator. To clear the PMG data is slightly more complex than just POKEing the enable register to off with the command POKE 559,34. This will stop the ANTIC graphics chip from getting of player data from memory, but bytes Will leave GTlA—the display generator random data —'f‘ree-running_With vertical stripe you flickering givmg the have noticed. You can tell _GTlA to stop reading new data by usmg POKE 53277,0_and the stripe becomes solid, which is at least some form of improvement. GTIA in fact contains a number of the _hold temporary registers which incoming PMG data until it can be Since these havent processed, _and zeroed they Will_still been speCifically contain the last byte of data received hence the solid stripe from ANTIC based on that data. The four player registers are located as

.

.

at

53261-53264 ($DOQD-$l?010),

and

the Single mlSSl|e register is at 53265 3“ be set ‘° 1?“ ($0011): Thes‘? mus? that Y”? m'ght and Wh"e we t e PMG p°s't'°" and we” fe'set rehdo'“9 a? Size registers at 53248-53260 ($D000$DOOC) and the PRIOR and VDELAY bytes at 53275 ($D01B) and 53276 ($D01C).

Now that we’ve dealt With the PMGs let's tum Off an y use,_de?ned interru pts W. h'‘Ch may be ”mm-9 The ($200 ' $201) DLI vector IS at 512513 ' and the Immediate and Deferred mode Vertical Blank Interrupts (VBl s) .

.

.

are at 546547 ($222{$223) and 548549 ($224,$225) respectively. The normal contents of these registers will depend on the age of your machine and the type of OS it contains. The easiest way to find out what number to POKE into them is to use PEEK to find the original value of each location before you run any programs at all, and change lines 1120 to 1140 accordingly. I’ve used the standard 130XE values, but make sure they are set correctly for your machine or it could be goodbye program time.

One point to note here is that you can’t just POKE the new values straight in since the 05 may want to use any of the vectors at any time, even after you’ve changed one byte but not the other. Thus you should sure to turn off all interrupts make With POKE b4286,0, then POKE the new values into place and only then

turn the VBl system back on with POKE 54286,64.

should re-set the RAMTOP the memory p0inter.in case high. reserve tried to has preVious program space at_the .top of memory by _Next you

it. This can be achieved_by POKE 106,160 for a machine that 40k of memory. Again,

adjusting using With

more

you can find out the normal contents by turning the computer off and on again and then usmg the command PRINT PEEK(106).

Finally, just to be sure, you should to set the a GRAPHICS °°mfnand do to its normal locaList back Display tion. I'm not saying that-these measures Will cure every pOSSible problem ch

ii iii

llEllORY

mm Pioaiiii.

26 m no mess miss in m or 39 RE! OFFENDING PROGRAM. 1.9 MM an as RE-NUHBERED, RE! ADJUST LINES 1120, 1135, 51! 10 63 RE" 11“ a 1216

“COMING

7“ RE“

YOUR COHPUTERS NORHAL LOCATIONS FOR THE 88 mi “was 99 RE" 1999 REll CLEAN-UP p99 REGISTERS iiiii POKE 559 ' 31. 1523 FOR BYTE=53275 To 53277 1339 POKE BYTE/? 10“ NEXT BYTE ,

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548,138:POKE 549'19‘ '

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pox; 106,160 GRAPHICS ,,.

9

Memory clearing routine Turn to Page 54 > December 1987 Atari User 53


9 rommin 9 ——Pro Page 53

< me

————————

number to indicate each separate file then all you need to do is alter that in this case byte within the string character number 7. Thus line 110 replaces the lowercase X in the string with the number contained in NUMB. a GRAPHICS 0 Next comes command to avoid corruption from any old lines of text which may still be on the screen. The POKE 559,0 simply turns off the display while the clever omit it if you want to stuff goes on watch the system in action. Next lines 130 and 140 print the two instructions which we want to execute in immediate mode. The two blank PRINTS between each line are to allow for Basic's READY message which will be printed after each immediate mode task is finished. Since we want to print a quotes symbol and this can’t be done from within a string have used it’s Ascii —

_

V0“ mtght encounter “ games programmersare a perverse bunch at the best Of times. However, L'St'hg should cure most Pt the'common faults, and_at least Q'Ve Bas'e and the 05 a t'ght'hg chance to do the" Jeb correctly. l

-

-

MergmgBa5|c programs Now let’s move on to another probIem. Mr K.R. Henwood from Pembroke Dock, Dyfed writes:

I

am writing a program in Basic an 800XL and 7050 disc drive

for

in which I want to interchange different blocks of DATA statements from within the main program using the ENTER command. For example: —

I

1“

ON

5M

ENTER

I GOSUB 116 Ran Resr or

$93 223:

”5,650,795 THE menu

ENTER “D:DATAx.LST

RETURN

'

'

'

2532:

This works fine, but When the new

segment has been loaded into the computer execution Of the pfogram stops and the READYpromptappears. Can the 800XL be re-programmed to

continue execution Of the main pfOQfem automatically after the extra have been ENTERed from the lines disc? At the moment / have to restart the program every time With a direct GOTO command in order not to wipe out other data WhiCh is stored in arrays. , .

There '5 an_answertoyour problem, and_one Wh'eh may prove useful _'h other programming d't'

solvnng many hCUh'es t°°~ As You have

correctly stated, the ENTEh command was deSIgned to work ”t direct mode rather than as a

program statement. 3° 't returns control to the editor rather than to the resndent program. currently Wh_at [5 ’3 a way needed to control the ed'tO' s operation-from W'th'" a program... Impossnble? No, not really. You need to use a trick often known as ‘Return-Key Mode’, in which you are to print whatever commands you able like onto the screen and havethe Basic interpreter execute them just as if you have pressed Return at the end of each line— hence the name. Listing II is a small program to illustrate the technique, but you could expand it to do much greater things — including allow a program to modify itself directly Here's how it worksLines 10 to.110 set up a string which contains the main portion Of the filename. Assuming you use a single 54 Atari User December 7987

instead. Thus line

ngusvin?z?fw? 9

ZD:DATA1.LST::

”322133;

Before I disappear for another month there’s just time to mention a letter I’ve received from Chris Simon from Mold in CIwyd who has just typed in Get It Right ll! from the November issue of Atari User. Not realising that we’d be printing the full source listing this month he went ahead and disassembled it for himself, and found various messages within the code, such as:

Once the two lines have been printed the cursor is placed just above the first command to be executed and ReturnKey mode is enabled using POKE 842,13. Immediately after this the STOP command temporarily halts the program with the message STOPPED AT LINE 140. Since Return-Key Mode has been set the screen editor won’t wait for you to typeacommand and hit Return it will instead go straight on to execute the first line it comes to, which will in this case ENTER the new lines for you. Then it will carry on and find the CONT command which will re-start your program. The line immediately after CONT should always be POKE 842,12to disable Return-Key Mode before you continue with the rest of your program. I’ve also added a GRAPHICS 0 to turn the screen back on. This method can be used to do almost anything you want, but it's always best to experiment until you some commands get it just right such as LIST and the graphics oriented instructions would not be suitable.

53 gé: 53:55:31

BE

1

2

4

3

FItE'NUSQER 1“ FILE$=”D:DATAx.LST" 119 FjLEs(7'7)=cHgs(NUHB)

38

REM

To INDICATE

120 GRAPHICS(B):POKE 13a 2: 149 ”f:

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55m

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?”CONT"

159 POSITION 165 P0“ 17g STOP

5,9

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REH

NEH

LINES

ARE

NO“

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Listing ii: Return-Key Mode demonstration

#

extra Ut'.|.ity an for provided more-experiencedusers, and 't so how u "?ght work. sorry to disappoint you, Chris, W'e’ll, bUt 't s ”m ?“ extra Utlllty. lf you look .

H

e_wondere

d ‘f t h''s 's '

.

f?get?gfggzgtgsnspba?g get$§umv5itlzlhslgg buffer defined

near the end of the listing. As with most other assemblers, my own MAC/65 cartridge creates this space by simply skipping the relevant

number of bytes, leaving any existing memory contents intact. In order to configure my 1050 to work correctly with my hard disc and SpartaDos have set up an AUTORUN file which re-programs the system to my requirementsat boottime, and it is a portion of this code that inadvertently slipped into the GIR II object file. These bytes could just as easily be zeros, of course, as all they do is pad the boot file out to the required length. Next time we print the Basic version I’ll modify it to skip that area completely and thus save you about 10 lines — although it won't affect the size of the machine code version. Anyway, well spotted Chris. hope that the listing in this issue will be of interest to you. Ah well, that's about it for another month. All that remains is for me to wish you all the very best for a great Christmas and wait for the deluge of mail which will come in from all those new Atari XE games console owners early in the New Year. I

I

Merry Christmas Are yet"

YOU

havin

all.

Drabfems

getting SoftWare Sofut.° Work? Write to EU'PPa Hause $3“, Atari User Hazel Grows Chester Road'' s't We Witt SK7 SNY er as can Within an'swockpon Many as w'e the but, "Mom'natpages of Atari use, pe'SOnaI r ephes,ely We cannot QIVe Programsgt

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computer chess program to decide their moves. want to play people, not a computer—l can dothaton my own at home”.

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the programs to control the device are currently written for the Commodore and we need to have them re-written for other machines such as the BBC Micro, IBM PC and com-

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TWO years after f'"d'ng himself out Of a job at the of _56, age. Yorkshirema'n Philip Gibbs is boss of his own company and p0ised for success. With the his com—

i

Page 1 8

with all kinds of muscular control a micro. The device, which takes over the five joystick functions, has just completed clinical trials in Holland and is now being tested

”Our problem

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nearing completion he. is also receivmg finanCial support from British Steel, British Coal and the Department. of industry

Theo. ”We will of gladly pay for this

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With, and has also found the Kompass Online directory of UK companies invaluable as a source of potential customers. ”At the moment we are using MicroLink mainly for

various

when we finally get going full swmg we’ll be making use of Email as well".

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Philip has been using MicroLink to improve his communications With the agencies

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him develop a device which allows people with severe muscular problems to use computers. Theo’s company, Preston Communications, is UK distributor for a Dutch product that links a muscle

'

The garments seconds - they’re house stock which be cleared 1‘0 make for newlines.

with the system and it’s certainly beginning to pay for itself”.

MicroLink

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prices.

handy too. “Overall I’m delighted

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writing

He wants them to

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Playing on the MicroLink bulletin board he says he is willing to take on anyone of average standard. ”ldon’t mind how many games play at once”, he said. “Anyone who wants to take part can just mailbox me with their moves in response to my game on the bulletin board. “All I ask is that my opponents play for them-

of

peripherals.

chess.

selves, and .

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cial Airlines Guide saves me much time at the travel agency. Telex and the British Rail timetables come in

to jam

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advertise ”(9h Streetcha/n

increasing sales and purchases", he says. “I travel a lot around Britain and Europe and find the Offi-

MlCROL/NK subscriber M... launched a search for software authors with experi-

MICROLINK subscriber Keith O’Connell has challenged the world to a giant electronic game of

:,

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MicroLink an extremely useful business tool. ”It isn’t just because of

out-of-print science fiction, fantasy and horror and is currently expanding into supplying dealers and

New board for Chess

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remove

_

PEOPLE can ”OW dress themselves from head to "7 the latest toe fashions With the help OfM/CfOL/hkTW'//' 'Lo_ndon. company fine 15 _US/ng the system to

communications" with his clients. Tony also considers

dust and grime of 175 years and turn it into a quite reasonable copy which I sold on the phone to a collector in America for £240 the same day”, he said. “The three of us are very happy, and it's all thanks to MicroLink”. The aged scientific tome was a change of theme for Graeme who specialises in

YOUR chance

r

1

with

was

I

7

-

potential for speeding

a soft able to the accumulated

rubber

Graeme made a 12,900 per cent profit on a battered copy of Sowerby’s Exotic Mineralogy he sold to Tony, a director of natural history specialists Wheldon & Wesley. ”I bought the book for £1 from a local junk shop after Wheldon & seeing Wesley’s advertisement on the MicroLink BB”, said Graeme. “I thought it was probably worth more than I paid, but had no idea I would get as much as

.

work

hard

good business.

;.

collectors in the US. His main reason for joining MicroLinkisits“enormous

Tony Swann was equally delighted with the deal. “After a couple of hours

Tony Swann, got in touch

i

,

Cut the cost of faShlon

'

'

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he deals

telex",

said

Philip. ”But

’/


—_——______

LAST month's Basic program is quite to generate all the checksums you will ever need, but we are now going to look at the machine code version. This will allow experienced programmers to tailor it to their own needs, but you should note that you don’t need to understand the inner workings of either version in order to use Get It Right II! to check your listings. The program is written in pure machine code, with a simple Basic routine to make to boot tape or disc. So, unlike the original Get It Rightl, there’s no easy way for you to see what’s going on when you use it. Get It Right II! is a fully re-Iocating piece of machine code—which means that it can place itself anywhere in memory adjusting automatically to take account of its new position. Even its work space is internal, so it won’t interfere with anything else you may have loaded, including page 6 space. If you want to write your own code to interface with ours then you will

sufficient

require a non-relocating version, and

that's what we’ve printed here. You can specify a new

‘ ‘

r ‘ ,

ANDRE W|LLEY gwes a deta|led breakdown Of our Cheeksum program _

_

address simply enough by changing the *=$0700 definition on line 140, but once you’ve assembled it for a given address it must always be loaded there. Listing is the assembly code forthe cassette version, and contains all the I

origin

PROGRAM BREAKDOWN 180

210

Only applicable to the cassette version contain the six boot header bytes. The first line of code to be run —- simply jumps to the setup code starting at line

860

930

and

230

3490. 250

-

320

360

-

450

470

-

690

The handler vector table for CIO use — refer to the recent series on l/O Channels for more information. Define the ten internal work bytes used for data storage and condition flags. Perform the CIO Open command. Firstly the buffer pointer and cumulative checksum digit are cleared, then the

950— 1110

zero page IOCB is accessed to find the

830 and 840

56 Atari User December 1987

and

by executing an

to the stack in the same way we placed

the Put-byte address. When an RTS is found the address to return to is always pulled back off the stack and so in this case it jumps to our Put-byte routine. This is a cheating way to generate an indirect JSR instruction, which is not included in the standard 6502 instruc— tion set. Use this character output routine to print out the checksum line. Firstly the line number is printed-stopping atthe first space found then lines 1430 to 1490 get and print the first digit, lines —

Used to return an error 137 if the line is over 255 characters (the maximum buffer length). USlng Basic this should never happen, but it's always best to check for all possibilities. Return an error 146 should the user

printed is storedin theAregister

This method works because a JSR instruction places the return address on

Perform the CIO Status, Special and functions all of which simply return with the Y register set to one.

length

boot

RTS.

770 and 780).

800 and 810

a

mistakenly try to GET bytes from the G: handler. Contain the Put-byte routine. This dumps the byte into a buffer area, increments the buffer pointer and returns. lf the byte is 155 —the End-Of-Linemarker — then the routine jumps to the CALC section of the program which is where the actual checksum is created. Output 3 single Ascii character to the screen or printer, depending on the value of OUTVEC. The address of the relevant Put-byte routine within the Operating System is retrieved from the appropriate CIO vector table and this is then pushed onto the stack. The byte to the routine is called

Close

information to make

tape. If you want to make a disc version, first type in the listing using an assembler/editor and then enter the extra lines given in Listing II. These will overwrite any cassette-specific

be

address of the filespec buffer. This should contain either “6:3" or ”G:P", and the OUTVEC flag is set accordingly or if neither is found an error 139 is generated. As with all ClO commands, the routine is normally exited by setting the Y register to a value of one and performing an RTS instruction (lines

710, 730 and 750

necessary

1150— 1940

-


Utility

——

appropriate disc instruc-

lines with the

tions. Once the disc version is assembled it can be used as an AUTORUN.SYS file, or 'ust a tr a g htf o rvv a rd bin aw

Buffer Contents

“EEIEEHNIIHEN

““—

-

i

'°ad ‘f The how it listing

fjeqm’ej-

program breakdown shows all works. But remember, the printed in last month’s Atari User is functionally identical to this assembler version, but obviously has some practical differences due to its ability to locate itself anywhere in memory. This is achieved partly by increased use of relative branch instructions but mainly from the use of a relocation table near the end of the load space. This ensures that any position dependent instructions are modified as they are moved from the load address of $3000 to their new location just above the original LOMEM. So now you have Get It Right II! in two versions a user version and one that you can modify to suit your own requirements.We’d be veryinterested to hear your comments on the new system, and of any modifications or additions which you dedicated programmers might come up With. —

wih'i'r nmmmmnm hAM.IIIE

‘ Nana-man

Checksum:

A

100

T

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(X)

Calculating Figure the checksum digits /_-

“170 i

19 ;GET 23 i

IT

RIGHT BY

is

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fHRITTEN 1

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Turn to Page 59>

BLOCK

3090

3420

digit,givinganumberbetweenOand 31

(see Figure l). This number is then used as an index into the table of valid letters and numbers (lines 3060 and 3070). Note that letters such as l, O and Z are

to avoid any confusion with the numbers 1, 0 and 2. Finally lines 1740 to 1940 print the cumulative digit, surrounded by brackets, and then a Carriage Return. The buffer is then cleared ready for the next line and ClO is exited via an RTS instruction. 1960—2990 The part that actually calculates the checksum itself. When a Carriage Return isdetectedthe bufferisscanned, character by character, adding up the coded values for each byte. When the line is completed, or when a rem is encountered,the print-out routine starting at line 1150 is called. The process used is quite complicated and is best understood in flow chart form as shown in Figure ll. missing

-—

Contain the text strings for rem and data to allow for testing and setting flags accordingly.

3060 and 3070

5223 3233

351.53 =

=

1500 to 1660 print the second and lines 1670 to 1710 the third. Five bits of data are used for each

3010 and 3020

0210

1987

525

=

SPACE

“LL“,

$93“

= =

PRVEC

_

SW” “BYTE a 3180 "55,15£¥i2;8TART+127]/128 0233

VIZ-ll

Contain the list of valid characters which may be used for the checksum printouts.

3440

Provide the initialise code required for correct system reset handling. This includes looking fora blank entry in the 08's handler address table (HATABS) and inserting the address for our own G: driver, then setting MEMLO, LOMEM and APPMHl to tell the system where our code ends. After zeroing the temporary work space the lNlT code returns control to the OS, which in turn re-starts Basic. Definesthe 256 byte text buffer used for storing program lines until their checksum

3470

3700

has been

printed.

Executed from the boot loader to set the CASlNl (or DOSlNl) vector to point to our initialise routine. For disc users, they also set up an extra JSR within the lNIT code to execute the original DOSlNl vector in order to maintain DOS's own pointers. This setup routine does two other things — it prints the “Loaded OK" message and it sets Basic’s Load in Progress flag (location 202) to a value of one. This has the effect of making Basic do a

cold-start which will

reset its

poin-

ters with the new LOMEM values to leave space for our code. Since this portion of machine code will only be needed at boot time it is placed outside the LOMEM protected area, which means that it will be erased after it has done its job.

December 7987 Atari User 57


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0250I #146

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Atari User Magazine Vol 3 Issue 08  

Atari User Magazine Vol 3 Issue 08 - magazine for Atari home computer users, published by Database Publications.

Atari User Magazine Vol 3 Issue 08  

Atari User Magazine Vol 3 Issue 08 - magazine for Atari home computer users, published by Database Publications.

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