1. Not old. Vintage. :)
Timothy Kline

Z*Magazine: 26-Jul-86 #9

Z*Magazine: 26-Jul-86 #9

  1. Timothy Kline
    Article #19 (214 is last):
    From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
    Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.zmag
    Subject: Z*Magazine: 26-Jul-86 #9
    Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
    Date: Sat Jul 3 20:38:37 1993

    Zmagazine #9 HOT Atari News
    Ron Kovacs-Editor Plus+++
    Walt Drummond-Assistant Editor
    July 26, 1986
    Xx Contents
    <*> Zread16 Debuts
    <*> Mail Order Blues
    <*> Zmag Index
    <*> Zmag Systems
    <*> Zmag Notes
    <*> Basic Help
    <*> Zmag Newsletter
    <*> Reader Request
    <*> Wedge 130 Documentation
    <*> Reader Comment
    <*> Antic Notes

    Xx Mailorder Blues

    This story tells what happened when
    I placed an order by mail with the
    following mail order firm:

    Business Computers of Peterborough
    Upper Union Street, Box 94
    W. Peterborough, NH 03468-0094

    I still have a hard time believing
    that a company can treat a person
    like they treated me and get away
    with it.

    I mailed my company check in the
    amount of $499.95 along with my
    order for an "Orchid Conquest
    Memory Expansion Board".

    I phoned to see when the order
    would be shipped. The receipt of my
    check was acknowledged and I was
    promised a shipping date of
    05-21-86. The delay was to allow my
    check to clear.

    It's now nearly 2 weeks after the
    promised shipping date and almost a
    month and a half after they knew
    they would need the product I had
    ordered. I phoned to inquire on the
    whereabouts of my order. I was told
    that it hadn't been shipped yet but
    that it would be shipped out that
    week for sure.

    I phoned again because the order
    hadn't arrived yet. The girl began
    to give me the exact same story as
    on the previous occasion that I
    phoned. I canceled the order and
    requested a refund. I was told that
    a refund check would be mailed
    soon. I mailed a long letter to the
    president of the company, William
    F. Gollan, explaining my problems
    and asking for his help in
    resolving the matter.

    It has now been 2 months from the
    day I placed the order. I phoned to
    find out why I hadn't received the
    refund check yet. She said my name
    was in the refund file but she
    didn't know when a check would be
    mailed. I asked to speak to her
    supervisor. She told me that his
    name was John Hampson and that he
    was in a meeting. She took my
    number and said he would call me.
    He never did.

    I wrote letters to PC WORLD and PC
    MAGAZINE explaining my problems
    with the firm and asked them to
    warn their readers what the
    consequences of mailing a check to
    Business Computers could be.

    I filed a complaint with the Postal

    I phoned and spoke with Cindy. She
    promised that a refund check would
    be mailed the next day.

    I phoned and spoke with Cindy
    again. She said they were having
    problems with their terminals. She
    said she would ask Mr. Hampson to
    return my call. She said that a
    refund would be issued the next
    day. Again, no one ever bothered to
    phone me.

    I filed a complaint with the
    Consumer Protection Bureau of the
    New Hampshire Attorney Generals

    I phoned and spoke to Art. He did
    the usual, took down my name and
    number and promised that Mr.Hampson
    would call. I asked to speak to Mr.
    Gollan (the company President) or
    Carol (the girl in bookkeeping) and
    was told they were both gone. Art
    was rude and very unwilling to
    help. Again, no one bothered to
    return my call.

    waiting for 81 days I finally got
    my money back.

    The scary part was that NEVER, was
    I allowed to speak with anyone
    other than the customer service rep
    that answered the phone. When I
    would ask the rep to speak to her
    supervisor he would always be "in a
    meeting". They would never return a
    call. On several occasions during
    normal business hours the customer
    service number wouldn't be
    answered. Of course you could call
    the order line and they would
    answer immediately. I wasted over
    $20 in phone calls trying to get
    my money back.

    Had it not been for the Attorney
    General, the Postal Inspectors and
    the 2 magazines I probably would
    have never gotton my money back.

    BE WARNED! If your going to do
    business with Business Computers of
    Peterborough DON'T MAIL A CHECK --
    use a credit card and don't expect
    them to do what they advertise.

    Greg Susong [70635,1312]

    Xx Zread16

    Zread16 has been finished. This
    newest Zmag file is the best so far
    and a must for Zmag readers.

    This file now allows you to read
    print and select articles. Many
    other functions and modifications
    can be performed. If you are
    interested in getting this file,
    call any of the Zmag BBS Systems
    listed in Zmag Systems.

    Syndicate BBS and Windy City now
    have it available in their down
    load sections.

    Compuserve readers will find it
    very soon in DL 3.

    Thanks go to Clinton Smith for his
    find work!!

    Xx Basic Help

    This week I will list Atari Error
    numbers and messages. This list
    also includes errors in DOS.

    Error 2 BASIC Insufficent Memory

    Additional memory is required to
    store the statement or to dimension
    the new string variable. By adding
    more ram or by deleting any unused
    variables, this error can be
    avoided. This error can also be
    caused by a gosub statement with
    too many levels of nesting.

    Error 2 DOS No Command File Found

    The X-user-defined option of the
    DOS 3 menu was attempted, but no
    files of the form *.CMD were
    contained in Drive 1.

    Error 3 BASIC Value Error

    A numeric value was encountered
    that was outside of the allowed
    range, too large or too small. This
    error can also occur when a negative
    value is returned when the value
    should be positive.

    Error 3 DOS Input Required

    Only the RETURN key was pressed in
    response to a prompt that required
    an input.

    Error 4 BASIC Too Many Variables

    Over 128 variable names have been
    specified. Any unused names should
    be deleted.

    Error 4 DOS No Cartridge

    The To Cartridge Menu option of
    DOS 3 was attempted; however no
    cartridge was present and BASIC
    had been deactivated.

    Error 5 BASIC String Length Error

    The program attempted to read or
    write outside of the range for
    which the string was dimensioned.
    This also occurs when zero is used
    as the index. This error can be
    corrected by increasing the DIM
    index size.

    Error 5 DOS I/O Error

    A generic input/output error.

    Error 6 BASIC Out of Data

    The data statements did not contain
    enough data items for the variables
    in the corresponding read statements

    Error 6 DOS Invalid End Address

    The end address for the save option
    was entered as less then the start

    Error 7 BASIC Line Number >32767

    The line number is negative or
    greater than 32767.

    Error 7 DOS Error Loading Mem.Sav

    The Atari has not been able to
    reload the ram using MEM.SAV.
    Possible causes include a faulty
    disk or a dirty disk drive.

    Error 8 BASIC Input Statement

    An attempt was made to input a
    non-numeric value into a numeric
    variable. Be certain that the type
    of data being entered corresponds
    to the input variable type.

    Error 8 DOS Error Saving MEM.SAV

    The MEM.SAV file on disk is no
    longer valid after this error.

    Error 9 BASIC Array or String Error

    The error occurs when the program
    refrences an array or string which
    has not been dimensioned. This error
    also occurs when a dim statement
    includes a string or array that was
    previously dimensioned. Or if an
    attempt is made to dim a string of
    length zero or length greater than

    Error 9 DOS Drive input error

    An invalid device specification was

    Error 10 BASIC Argument Stack Over

    Too many nested parenthesis in an

    Error 10 DOS Filename Input Error

    An invalid filename was supplied.
    Xx Wedge 130

    The Basic wedge adds a 1k block
    of RAM that is used just like Page


    The default block is from $2000
    to $23FF (8192-9215). The pointers
    are altered to keep this area
    protected against RESET, NEW, LOAD,
    and other nasties. Uses?

    >Since it is on an even page
    boundary, it can be used for a
    character set, or PM graphics. No
    more PEEK (106) complications.

    >It can be used for all of those
    ML utilities that you haven't been
    able to squeeze into 255 bytes, or
    managed to make relocateable for
    strings (First we get it to work,
    THEN we massage, right?) Since you
    have BLOAD for loading object
    files, you can shuttle things into
    Bigblock as they are needed, a real
    boon when you're developing ML
    subroutines for Basic programs.

    >You can even use this RAM to
    Bload what would otherwise require
    AUTORUN.SYS files (device handlers
    etc.), eliminating some of those
    Low Memory conflicts that drive us
    all crazy. Reassemble the source
    listings and make your life


    For maximum flexibility, you
    can change the size of Bigblock
    with a couple of POKEs. The
    procedure is outlined on the title
    screen. The numbers you POKE are
    the lo and hi byte of the address
    you want to be the new LOMEM, the
    bottom of Basic memory. (The RAM
    below this address is protected.)
    The simplest approach is to keep
    the low byte at 0, and use Page
    Numbers for the high. A couple of
    freeing up that extra 1k. POKE
    7432,0: POKE 7434,32.

    TO EXPAND BIGBLOCK to a full 2k
    to accomodate single line PM.
    POKE 7432,0: POKE 7434,40.


    After you've POKEd the values,
    hit RESET. Then type NEW, to
    properly initialize the Basic
    pointers. It's not quite like a
    direct LOMEM command for Basic (the
    thought has crossed my mind, but
    the crude approach saves memory.)
    Close though.


    The text and background colors
    displayed on RESET can be altered
    by POKEs to 7442 (text) and 7444
    (background) There is also a RESET
    shadow for a custom character set
    (a personal weakness.) POKE the
    page number to 7452.


    The Write DOS function in DUP.SYS
    (H) doesn't work if you call it
    with D8:MEM.SAV active. No MEM.SAV,
    it's OK. Don't ask me, I just work
    here. Remember that you can write
    DOS.SYS from Basic with OPEN
    #1,8,0,"D:DOS.SYS":CLOSE #1 and
    copy DUP.SYS separately.

    Xx Reader Request

    A Zmag reader sent me a letter
    asking to include information in
    an issue about The X device.
    Well I searched around and found
    some docs, I hope this is what
    you were referring too!

    *** THE 'X:' DEVICE ***
    * *
    * CHANGE NOTES: fixes and mods *
    * *
    * 01/01/85 Calls to ATARI FP *
    * ROM replaced with *
    * integer math code *
    * *
    * 11/13/84 1. now supports BASIC*
    * PRINT statement *
    * 2. supports SYSTEM *
    * RESET key properl*
    * 3. some memory use *
    * bugs fixed - now *
    * can CLOSE/OPEN *
    * repeatedly withou*
    * using more memory*
    * *

    The 'X' device driver is an 80-
    column display device driver for
    all ATARI computers. When loaded
    into memory it installs itself
    between addresses $2B00 and $35D0.
    Since it is not yet relocatable
    this places it high enough to allow
    room for normal DOS users (DOS/XL,
    OS/A+, DOS2.0s) and leaves space
    for the 'R' handler if the 850
    Interface Module is used. A
    relocatable version is planned for
    the future.

    The 'X' device driver loads an 'X'
    device entry in the Handler Address
    Table and provides standard CIO
    interfacing to the driver, with
    some caveats. When opened for
    OUTPUT it performs like the 'E'
    device; all usual cursor and
    editing controls are followed and
    inverse video is provided. When
    opened for UPDATE it does not edit
    out cursor control characters like
    the 'E' device, but passes them
    back to the caller like the 'S'

    The 'X' device driver provides some
    editing features that are not
    offered by the 'E' or 'S' devices.
    ERASE Line and Screen to and from
    the current CURSOR position are
    provided via XIO commands. Absolute
    Cursor Positioning is also provided
    via an XIO command.


    OPEN #n,4,0,"X:" - open #n using'X'
    CLOSE, GET, PUT - as usual

    XIO cmdno,#n,0,0,'X:' -special cmds
    cmdno = $10 - position aux1,aux2
    cmdno = $20 - erase line to CURSOR
    cmdno = $21 - erase line fm CURSOR
    cmdno = $22 - erase screen to CURSOR
    cmdno = $23 - erase screen fm CURSOR


    ATARI DOS users should name the
    XDSPLY file AUTORUN.SYS on their
    boot disk. It can be concatenated
    to an existing AUTORUN.SYS file,
    such as the RS232 handler. OSS
    DOS/XL or OS/A+ users can leave
    the file as a .COM file and install
    it by running it like any other
    Extrinsic command.


    XDSPLY does not replace the 'E:'
    device. It can be used like it in
    certain circumstances and you can
    modify the OS's Handler Address
    Table to substitute 'X:' for 'E:';
    but not all of the 'E:' features
    such as full screen editing are

    Please report any bugs to me via
    EMAIL on Compuserve at 70545,507
    and I'll try to address them in the
    next release.

    Alex M. Stevens
    Xx Zmag Newsletter

    I am currently working on the
    first edition of the Zmag Newsletter
    and should have something ready in
    a week or two. If you are interested
    in getting a copy please send me
    your address. The first edition
    will be free of charge to Zmag
    readers, Future editions will be
    sold at a cost of $3.00. this
    charge covers cost for copying
    issues, and shipping.

    The current schedule is as follows.
    August 7th, and the first of each
    month. Each issue will include the
    previous months issues of NJ
    Zmags and Chicago Zmags, I hope
    to also include material which
    was too long for publication in
    the regular weekly Telecom issue.

    If you have any information you
    would like to submit for the
    newsletter, send it to:

    Zmagazine Newsletter
    Post Office Box 74
    Middlesex, NJ 08846-0074
    Attn: Ron Kovacs

    Xx Zmag Index

    This is the 9th regular issue of
    Zmag and our 14th edition to date.
    Next weeks issue will include a
    special area for past issues.
    I will list all the issues and
    the topics discussed. Past issues
    of Zmag are available. You can
    get a few on CompuServe in the
    Public Access area and in the
    Atari 8 SIG, in Data Library 7.

    Zmag issues are also available
    through your local Zmag BBS
    system. If you want Zmag on a
    BBS local to you, Please let me
    know where it is!! I will do my
    best to get Zmag on.

    Xx Reader Comment

    Software Piracy--What the companies
    are doing, and what they should
    be doing!

    In today's market, software
    companies have been spending
    millions trying to come up with the
    solution to squelch "the pirate".
    Here is what they have been doing
    to keep their precious software
    from being copied and modified:

    --They have organized a pseudo
    company and hired CEO hotshot
    Maynard Lapok to prosecute the
    offender's, using a highly polished
    legal staff in it's wings to punish
    the "abuser".

    --They have expanded their
    licensing programs for corporate
    user's, so that as little as five
    copies of the software can be
    licensed for exclusive use by that
    company, in return for a corporate
    promise that their employee's will
    not copy and distribute the
    material. The corporation's in
    return have "forced" employees to
    sign agreements that copied or
    misued software is grounds for
    immediate dismissal.

    --The software manufacturer's
    have already spent million's as an
    industry to try to stop the user's
    ability to copy. Most of us have
    encountered the result of their
    efforts and money, and found that
    the techniques are only short term
    successes. The industry is not yet
    convinced that any medium that they
    push through that drive can and
    will be copied by any determined
    and experienced "pirate".

    --Software executives, the
    programmer's themselves only a few
    years ago, are now trying to find
    highly educated and creative
    replacements. They now feel that
    they may be successful in stumping
    the pirate by programming in high
    more sophisticated languages.

    --Finally, they are exploring
    the possibility of not only
    copywriting the software before it
    goes to market, but obtaining a
    patent on it as well. They know
    that the patent law is easier to
    enforce and the penalties are
    stiffer to the violator. The only
    thing standing in their way is the
    requirement that they reveal all of
    their source code and they realize
    that this information will be
    available to the pirate and result
    in making his task easier. Not to
    mention competitive edge that would
    be lost to those that they compete
    with for markets.


    What all this add's up to is money,
    the software companies have been
    screaming that they are losing
    millions to the "pirate" in lost
    sales. They are in a real
    "catch-22" situation. They will
    wind up spending millions in
    research and development and design
    changes. They have also created a
    lot of "bad law" with high priced
    attorney's that failed to keep the
    focus on one issue. In fighting the
    war to prosecute "pirates" and to
    keep competitor's from using
    similar source code, they have
    wound up making themselves
    responsible for the product they
    produce. Several cases have already
    been decided that now hint the
    software manufacturer can be
    considered responsible under the
    doctrine of strict liability as is
    the manufacturer of a lawnmower.
    Imagine a bug in a program used to
    prescribe the proper medicine for a
    specified illness, causing injury
    or death to the patient.

    Once again, they will spend
    millions in insurance premiums and
    defense cost's in protecting
    themselves from the law they are
    creating. When they realize that
    they themselves have cost the
    industry from profitable success,
    it may be too late. A few company's
    have already made changes in their
    outlook on copy protection, but the
    problems will be created by a few
    and lie in wait for all.

    If you read this article
    looking for a solution, I have no
    answer. It seems to me that the
    escalation of costs for legal and
    design research can be used in
    educating the public on the result
    of software piracy. Maybe if they
    use the money in a more positive
    way, they will have a positive
    result. Only time will tell.

    -Larry Mihalik
    Syndicate BBS

    Xx Zmag Notes

    The New York City BBS is down for
    the second straight week. A few
    callers of this BBS have been
    trying to get Zmag ever since.
    I will look into the problem there
    and fill you in next week.

    The West Coast Syndicate in Ca is
    currently changing over to another
    BBS program, users of this fine
    system will be able to call soon!

    The Atari Outpost BBS is down
    for the rest of the Summer. This
    BBS will return to the lines Sept
    7th, callers of this BBS will be
    connected to EBBBS. Where Zmag
    issues are located.

    The Syndicate BBS has been
    having great difficulties with
    BBCS. New software is on the way,
    so callers there please be patient!

    I have been getting reports that
    new Zmag addition Hospital BBS has
    been down also, I tried calling
    today and the phone kept on
    ringing!! I know that the SysOp
    is away at school or vacation, But
    I have been told that the BBS
    would still be up. I will fill you
    all in next week.

    The Syndicate BBS also has gained
    a new Sysop. Larry the Lion is
    aboard along with Rum-Runner and
    myself. Hopefully we will get our
    problems cleared up and get on
    with helping our callers!!

    Xx Antic Notes

    I really enjoyed the article on
    building your own eprom burner in
    the December 1985 Antic. After
    constructing the circuit board, I
    found that I can successfully
    program an eprom, but the read
    function returns many random errors
    which change every time a read is
    done. I have double-checked the
    circuit completely. Have any
    readers experienced the same
    problem? What might cause it?

    Allen Hurst

    We talked to Charles Cherry, who
    built and tested the eprom burner
    for Antic on his 800XL. Cherry says
    one reader successfully built an
    eprom that worked on his Atari 800,
    but the eprom would NOT work on his
    130XE. Cherry says slight
    differences in the manufacture of
    different 800XLs could be the cause
    of some 800XL incompatiblities.
    And as far as Cherry knows, the
    do-it-yourself eprom burner will
    not work with the 130XE.
    -- ANTIC.


    Sysop Syndicated Services
    provides local BBS systems with
    adventure stories, swashbucklers,
    Sci-fi, private eye and spy
    thrillers in the tradition of the
    old pulp magazines. The stories
    continue weekly for about three
    months. For more information, go
    to the national bulletin board (on
    CompuServe) and read the notices
    for the Keyword BBS, dated 3/31/86.

    Douglas Arnold

    Does the new Atari XM801 printer
    work with Print Shop?

    Gary Vimr

    We don't have a sample of this
    new printer in house, nor does
    Broderbund Software's Customer
    Service department. Broderbund says
    it's "too soon to tell" if the
    XM801 will work with Print Shop.
    In the past, printers manufactured
    by Atari only did character
    graphics and so were incompatible
    with Print Shop. Broderbund
    suggests giving their tech support
    department a call at (415) 479-1170
    in a few weeks for more

    I would love to see a serious
    series on ST Assembly Language
    programming in Antic. Trying to
    learn 68000 programming on the ST
    using generic A/L text books is
    frustrating to say the least.

    ST user

    Our series on ST assembly
    language programming starts in
    the August, 1986 issue of Antic.

    After reading Stan and Susie
    Subeck's review of the Tandy CGP220
    printer (Antic, February 1986) I
    decided to buy one. It is a
    marvelous piece of equipment.
    However, the screen dump program
    for MicroPainter works fine, but I
    would like to use Micro Illustrator
    withit instead. (By the way,
    readers might want to know that
    Radio Shack has closed out the
    CGP220 and are selling the last of
    them at $299.)

    Use Charlie Jackson's Rapid
    Graphics Converter, (a type-in
    program in November, 1985 Antic) to
    convert your Micro Illustrator
    files to Micro Painter format
    first. --ANTIC.

    To answer John Hawkin's question
    in the June issue of Antic, Amdek
    hardware and software may be
    purchased at The Computer Corner,
    7101 Broadway, Merrillville, IN
    46410. (219)738-3282.

    Zmagazine Issue #9 July 26, 1986
    Please contribute