Article #40 (214 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 9-Feb-87 #38
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Thu Jul 8 09:44:38 1993
Zmagazine February 9, 1987
Publisher/Editor in Chief:Ron Kovacs
This Week in Zmag......
<*> USER GROUP OF THE MONTH
<*> PROFILE: THE CHAOS BBS
<*> SEAGATE INTRODUCES NEW
3.5" HARD DRIVES
<*> COMMODORE SHOWING PROFITS--
COMING OUT OF THE RED
<*> ACTIVISION POSTS LOSSES
<*> ATARI WORD PROCESSING PT.I
BEST OF THE 8-BIT SOFTWARE
<*> ST FORTH--YOU GOTTA BELIEVE
All this and more in this weeks
edition of Zmagazine.....
Xx EDITOR'S NOTES
....New Monthly Feature.............
As promised in last week's Zmag, we
start a new feature this week, the
User Group of the Month.
This month we profile the C.H.A.O.S.
User's Group of Lansing Michigan.
If you would like to see your user's
group featured in an upcoming
edition of Zmag, send us some
material for publication. We ask
that all submissions be sent in by
the 15th of the month for consider-
ation in the next month's user group
Take advantage of this free
publicity and get your news in for
an upcoming edition. Zmag is now
featured on over 50 BBS's across the
U.S. and Europe and can also
be found in Compuserve's Atari
For more information on Zmag's
User Group of the Month, call:
The Syndicate BBS
Surf City East BBS
Xx ZMAG USER GROUP OF THE MONTH
....Capitol Hill Atarians..........
C.H.A.O.S. USER GROUP
By Leo Sell, President.
From out of the void...CHAOS!!
C.H.A.O.S., like many user groups,
came into existence to fill a void.
C.H.A.O.S. is the Capitol Hill Atari
Owner's Society, located in Lansing,
Michigan. Supporting all Atari
computers, 8-bit and 16-bit alike,
we are the most active and second
largest Atari user group in Michigan
(M.A.C.E. of DETROIT is still #1 in
size). Our still-growing membership
numbers over 150, and is drawn from
all over Michigan as well as out of
state and Canada.
A few of our continuing projects:
We are most proud of our Public
Domain Disk libraries. Recent
trading and revision have made it
one of the best sources of quality
Public Domain programs anywhere,
with fully categorized and indexed
disks numbering over 300.
The Publications Library has books,
magazines and exchange newsletters
from nearly 100 other clubs and
spans the last 5 years.
Our BBS is nationally known and
visited for its quality,
dependability, and ease of use, as
well as being a great source for
information (particularly on MEMORY
The C.H.A.O.S. ST INterest Group
continues to grow in numbers and
Our most recent, largest, and most
exciting project is publishing and
participating in the Mid-Michigan
Atari Magazine in cooperation with
seven other Atari user groups
across the state.
C.H.A.O.S. (under a different name)
began in 1981 as a small group of
hackers, hobbyists, and computer
professionals, with a common
interest in the Atari 800. As time
passed, our membership grew, adding
Atari 400 owners, cassette owners
and more. With growth came the need
for structure and organization. The
name was changed to C.H.A.O.S., a
constitution was written and we
incorporated. Our constitution was
revised in 1985, but the philosophy
and style obviously the energy of it's
founders put into place has been
retained. The result has been a
consistency and dependability that
is too seldom found these days.
C.H.A.O.S. is a corporation, and is
organized in much the same way as a
business. Our Board of Directors
consists of five elected officers,
including the President,
and two at-large members - one from
each of the major group of owners
(8-bit and 16-bit).
In addition to the officers, each
major function of the club is headed
by an appointed manager or leader.
The larger jobs, such as the disk
library, are further divided using
assistants whose work is overseen by
Further use of the appointees' ideas
and abilities is made by a
management type of commitee, called
the Activities Board. It consists
of the Vice-President as Chairman,
and all appointees of the club.
Together they oversee their various
activities and responsibilities, and
brainstorm for new ideas and
The MID-MICHIGAN ATARI MAGAZINE is
published by C.H.A.O.S. but is
managed as though it were
essentially a separate entity in
order to be fair to all the
The ST Crisis
Another of our recent
accomplishments that I take pride
in, is the way we have weathered the
ST crisis. It seems as if many
clubs split the ST owners completely
off, for a variety of reasons. That
didn't happen here, although for a
time there was some controversy and
sentiment for a new and separate ST
In the very early days of the ST,
the C.H.A.O.S. Board of Directors
deemed that we would support the ST
as fully as possible. We strongly
urged ST owners to remain with the
club and take advantage of the
structure and resources that already
existed. We emphasized the common
ground and needs of both 8-bit and
16-bit owners. We committed
strongly to the ST owners and then
stuck to our resolution. We have
also made it plain that we believe
the future lies with the ST. As a
result, our ST presence continues to
grow and prosper, as does the club
I believe that we will continue to
grow and prosper and support owners
of new and old Atari computers
alike. As a percentage of
membership, owners of the ST (and of
the Atari machines yet to come) will
continue to increase and that of the
8-bit will decrease. But the
foundations laid by the 8-bit owners
will serve the future members well.
Because we have joined together for
support now, we can look forward to
mutual support, cooperation, and
harmony for a long time to come.
Xx ZMAG USER GROUP PROFILE
....The CHAOS BBS..................
The C.H.A.O.S. BBS - (517) 371-1106
By the System Designer and Operator,
The C.H.A.O.S. BBS is now in its
third location and phone number
since it began operations in 1982.
I have been operating it since
The BBS is supported completely by
the C.H.A.O.S. CLUB, who pay for the
equipment, line, repairs and
upgrades. At the present, the
system runs on a 320K ATARI XE
computer, Basic XE (O.S.S. Inc.),
Spartados (ICD, Inc.), a PERCOM
master disk drive with two double
sided double density slave drives,
an ATARI 850 interface with an
AVATEX 1200 modem, and an ATARI 1020
printer/plotter for a logger.
Arriving daily are the parts that
will soon provide 10 MEG of hard
disk storage, including the 256K MIO
board from ICD.
The software now running on the
C.H.A.O.S. BBS is called "The M-5
SYSTEM", and is structurally based
on the original public domain
F.o.R.e.M. program by Matthew
Singer, but has been totally
redeveloped to add hundreds of
improvements, features, and speed.
Features include: 300 and 1200 baud;
an automatic voting section;
multiple message bases with reply
chains, search by MARKED or NEW
SINCE LAST CALL, controlled scroll,
and more; "last words" left for the
next caller, plus a LAST CALLS LIST
to see who has been on, when, how
long, and what their "LAST WORDS"
were; continuously user-variable
"expert user" mode; the best and
newest information and text files
for online reading; top quality
recent public domain software for
downloading; ZMAGAZINE; online
roleplay/adventure games; and more.
Perhaps the most outstanding feature
of the M-5 System is the prompts.
They automatically respond and offer
help when you need it, judging your
experience (as shown in the user
log), your errors while using the
system today, and your own requests
for help. This part of the system
has been and continues to be one of
my main areas of development. It is
perhaps the most user friendly
system available for ANY computer.
Our callers number as many as 50 a
day from all over the USA and
several other countries. We have
over 400 regular users. For more
than a year, C.H.A.O.S. has offered
all the MEMORY UPGRADE information
and software possible, and many
calls each day are drawn by this
selection. (Claus Buchholz,
originator of the 256K upgrade for
the 800XL, is one of C.H.A.O.S.'s
A recent user poll showed an average
user age of 28 years, with 20% of
the traffic from out of the state.
Although NOT in one of the area
codes reachable through PC PURSUIT,
C.H.A.O.S. still deserves a visit on
your next trip through the electric highway!
Xx ZMAG NEWSWIRE
....General Computer News...........
SEAGATE ANNOUNCES 3.5-INCH HARD DISK
Seagate Technology has announced its
first 3.5-inch hard disk units, with
a maximum capacity of 45MB. The
half-height drives have an average
access time of less than 30ms and are
available with SCSI or Seagate's own
The SCSI and ST412/RLL models offer
30MB and 45MB respectively, while the
lower density ST125 and ST138 models
give 20MB and 30MB formatted
Prices start at $595 for original
equipment manufacturers and volume
production starts in the third
quarter in Seagate's Far East
TANDY TOPS APPLE, IBM IN CHRISTMAS
Tandy Corp. had itself a merry, BIG
Christmas -- the latest word from
Infocorp researchers is that the Fort
Worth, Texas, computer maker claimed
a 37 percent share of the nation's
fourth-quarter retails sales of
That's more than the Apple Computer
and IBM's portions combined.
According to the report, Apple got a
24-percent share; IBM got only 12
percent. The fourth quarter is the
most important, because
traditionally it accounts for a
third or more of the annual sales.
Meanwhile, Apple's not really
hurting, either. Looking at the year
as a whole, both Apple and Tandy
passed IBM, each getting about 25
percent of the total 2.7 million
units sold through retail stores in
Christmas compared with IBM's 17
Note, though, that this report from
the Cupertino, Calif., - based
Infocorp focuses only on sales
through retail stores like
ComputerLand and Radio Shack
outlets, and does not reflect direct
sales to large companies, one of
IBM's big distribution channels.
COMMODORE POSTS PROFITS AGAIN,
REVENUES DOWN SOME 20 PERCENT
As predicted last month, Commodore
International today reported its
third straight profitable period,
although revenues declined.
According to a statement from its
West Chester, Pa., headquarters, the
computer maker made a profit of
$21.8 million in the quarter ending
Dec. 31. The Associated Press notes
that included in the profit is a
one-time tax-related gain of $5.8
million, compared with a loss a year
earlier of $53.2 million. The profit
amounted to 68 cents per share.
Revenue, down 20 percent to $270.8
million from $339.2 million a year
earlier, was at planned levels, said
Thomas Rattigan, president and chief
executive officer, in the statement,
"as the company managed for
profitability and cash flow" rather
Interviewed by AP, Commodore
financial officer Michael Evans
elaborated that "trying to build for
a large Christmas season, given the
financial position of the company,
would not have been the right thing
Evans added, incidentally, that the
company hopes to complete within a
week a new agreement with its
bankers on a $140 million revolving
line of credit.
Commodore was in default on
stipulations of its earlier
Commodore reports for the first half
of its fiscal year, the period ended
Dec. 31, it had a profit of $25.5
million or 80 cents a share,
including the $5.8 million
tax-related benefit, compared with a
$92.4 million loss a year earlier.
Revenue for the same period fell 10
percent to $446.8 million from
ACTIVISION POSTS LOSS
Activision Inc., a publisher of game
and education software, has posted a
third quarter net loss of $3.9
million or 11 cents a share.
In the year earlier quarter,
Activision had a net loss of
$900,000 or three cents a share. Net
sales for the latest quarter were
$9.6 million from $5.8 million a
For the first nine months of the
fiscal year, Activision had a net
loss of $6.7 million or 20 cents a
This compares with a net loss of
$3.8 million or 12 cents a share a
year earlier. Net sales for the
period rose to $22 million from
Bruce L. Davis, Activision's
president and chief operating
officer, said that the 66 percent
increase in sales for the quarter
was due to the acquisitions of
Infocom and Gamestar and strong
sales of certain entertainment
software and video games.
He went on to note that operating
results for the quarter were
negatively affected by delayed
product introductions, high
marketing expenditures for new
product introductions and heavy
investment in new product
-- John Edwards
Xx ZMAG PANORAMA
....Atari Word Processing Part I
The following article comes to us
from Antic Online and presents a
good overview on a few of the many
word processing programs available
for the Atari 8-bit computers.
Because of its length, Zmag is
publishing this review in 2 parts,
the second of which can be found
in next week's issue of Zmag.
ANTIC PUBLISHING INC., COPYRIGHT
1987. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION.
By GREGG PEARLMAN, ANTIC JUNIOR
Atari 8-bit computers are fine word
processing tools. For $500 or less--
the price of a computer, printer,
disk drive, software and some
paper--you can have clean,
correction-free documents that make
ordinary typewritten material look
as if the cat did it. In terms of
versatility, speed, ease of use
and readability, word processing is
as far above typewriting as
typewriting is above penmanship.
An individual word processor is an
acquired taste. Features that please
some might annoy others. Even the
five Antic editors are split on
their favorites. For personal use.
two prefer PaperClip, two use
AtariWriter or AtariWriter Plus, and
the fifth uses Letter Perfect.
What follows is a detailed
comparison of seven word processors
currently available for Atari 8-bit
These word processors are
AtariWriter Plus, First XLEnt Word
Processor, PaperClip, Letter
Perfect, Superscript, Word Magic and
The biggest lack in 8-bit Atari
word processing to date has been the
unavailability of an 8O-column screen
display that shows your page exactly
as it will print out. However,
Atari now says that its long-awaited
XEP80 80-column adapter box will be
shipping in January, 1987.
The XEP80's razor-sharp text
display was demonstrated at last
year's trade shows and Atari Fairs.
The $79.95 adapter plugs into either
joystick port and includes its own
parallel printer interface. It
works with either monochrome or
Prompt release of new versions
supporting 80 columns on the XEP80
are expected from AtariWriter Plus,
PaperClip and First XLEnt Word
ACE80 ($49.95. Reviewed in Antic,
July 1986) and Write80 ($59.95.
Reviewed in October 1986) each offer
80-column displays without the XEP80
hardware. But neither of these
products can be considered
full-featured word processors like
the other software in this report.
AtariWriter Plus does many things
well. Its Proofreader and Mail
Merge functions make it one of the
most complete word processing
packages available for Atari 8-bit
computers. AtariWriter Plus is
powerful and versatile, it does
not drop characters or lock up as you
type, and it has a 36,000-word
The main limitation we found is a
maximum file size of only 12.3K on
the 800XL, slightly less than half
of the file sizes we obtained from
four other word processors. However,
on the 130XE (and compatible memory
upgrades) there are 15,872 bytes
free -- in each of three "banks."
Files longer than 15.5K "spill
over" into the next available bank.
[START] switches from one bank to
another, and [OPTION] [F] evenly
distributes the file among all three
AtariWriter Plus can be configured
to almost any printer. You need to
load the printer driver every time
time you boot up. The print preview
feature gives you horizontal
scrolling in more than 200 columns,
and underlined characters appear in
However, boldface, italics and other
special fonts are not indicated
onscreen. The AtariWriter Plus Mail
Merge lets you create an electronic
mailing list with up to 255 records
AtariWriter Plus's powerful
search-and-replace lets you use
question marks as "wild card"
characters. And global substitution
is almost instantaneous -- you don't
have to watch the cursor scroll
through the entire file.
The Proofreader program takes a
little while to load, but it quickly
scans your file for anything
unusual, at which time an obnoxious
beep alerts you.
While the Antic editorial staff has
had no problems with AtariWriter
Plus, this isn't entirely true of
We have received a trickle of
letters listing minor complaints.
For example, apparently headers and
footers are sometimes printed
somewhere other than where you want
$49.95. Atari Corp., 1196 Borregas
Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. (408)
745-2000. (Reviewed in Antic, April
1986, page 81.)
First XLEnt Word Processor is the
newest 8-bit product in this
category and it is packed with
unique and impressive features.
First XLEnt lets you add pictures to
the text, use the joystick for
cursor movement, edit two documents
at once, load in any Atari 8 X 8
font (such as international
character sets). Help screens are
easily available and
search-and-replace is almost
You can load files from any DOS
(including specialized operating
systems such as SpartaDOS). And
there's no problem loading First
XLEnt files to other word processors
that use an Atari-compatible DOS.
First XLEnt is not copy-protected
and comes with Atari DOS 2.5, but
you can substitute your own
DOS -- meaning that you can set up a
large RAMdisk, for example. In fact,
First XLEnt uses the 130XE RAMdisk,
so you can load files lightning-fast
--tantamount to using an extra edit
The program wordwraps on spaces and
hyphens, making word-breaks cleaner.
"Soft" hyphens are ignored unless
needed for a line break, and "hard"
spaces prevent a line break at that
However, if you use two hyphens for
dashes (--), they will be split up at
the end of a line when printed.
First XLEnt has a visible, editable
cut-and-paste buffer. You can
insert a disk file anywhere in your
text without losing the end of your
document. You can save to disk any
part of the document in memory.
Also, when working with two
documents in memory, First XLEnt
flips between them instead of
splitting the screen into small
windows. (Those who prefer two
windows might like PaperClip
The biggest limitation we found in
First XLEnt is that the
cut-and-paste buffer holds you to
one screen -- 800 characters. Also,
the printing section in the manual
could be more informative.
When you go to the icon menu you're
not always returned to your original
spot in the text, or even to the same
typing mode. If you were in Insert
mode, you might find that you've
overwritten some of your document
before you realize you're no longer
in that mode. And finally, the
[CONTROL] key combinations on the
800 become [OPTION] key on the
But despite any minor quibbles, the
First XLEnt Word Processor is a most
welcome entry in the 8-bit market.
It's powerful, easy to use and
$29.95. XLEnt Software, P.O. Box
5228, Springfield, VA 22150. (703)
644-8881. (Reviewed in Antic,
January1987, page 53.)
As we've said on various occasions,
Batteries Included's PaperClip is
the 8-bit word processor we use at
Several features weight the dice
heavily in PaperClip's favor. It
has "macro" capability for writing
out lengthy strings of stored text
with just two keystrokes. It has a
generally fast and efficient command
structure. It lets you work on two
windows at once, and can use the
paste buffer as a third window.
It reads standard Atari DOS files, so
you can easily work with files from
most other 8-bit word processors.
PaperClip's best and most original
editing features include commands to
transpose two adjacent characters or
words in a line, and to delete one
When you press [CONTROL] [SHIFT]
[CAPS], the cursor scoots along,
changing capital letters to
lowercase or vice versa.
The search-and-replace feature is
good, but it slows down as file size
increases. However, you can search
and replace as many as six strings
during a single global substitute.
You can easily merge files, rename
or erase them, and format disks.
PaperClip's commands are generally
easy to remember. [CONTROL] [SHIFT]
[R] Reads a file from disk, and
[CONTROL] [SHIFT] [W] Writes it to
[CONTROL] [SHIFT] [M] Moves a block,
[CONTROL] turns on Boldface, etc.
But then [CONTROL] [A] sets print
tabs and [CONTROL] [T] forces a new
page, so the memory associations are
not always that clear.
Among the word processors in this
report, only Superscript and
PaperClip have math functions.
PaperClip can add, subtract,
multiply and divide, and print
totals and subtotals. But you need
to use the print preview window to
see the results, which for unknown
reasons often renders useless the
block move command, [CONTROL]
Other functions include batch file
processing and Mail Merge. The
utility files also include machine
language printer driver maker, a
graphics dump and an AtariWriter to
PaperClip conversion program.
[CONTROL] [SHIFT]  gives a word
count, but it's not terribly
accurate. It counts spaces, not
words, and consequently misses by as
much as 20 percent. The print
preview feature uses PaperClip's
wide horizontal scrolling to display
the page as it will look on paper.
Despite all these flashy and
valuable features, Antic editors have
learned from nearly two years of
heavy PaperClip use that the
software sometimes mysteriously
locks up or drops characters. Also,
the type-ahead buffer is often too
slow to keep up with reasonably
speedy typing, especially at
The program doesn't tell you when
your data disk is full. And in a
rare copy-protection scheme, you can
back up the disk but you must plug
the enclosed "hardware key" into
joystick port 2 to run PaperClip.
That key costs $20 to replace, but a
keyless 48K-only version is
available for $39.95.
Our copy of SpellPack, the
spell-checker in PaperClip's 130XE
version, didn't show words like
"without," "us" and "too." But it
had no problem with "mnemonic" or
"dubious" -- and it also provided a
large selection of non-words such as
"usabg" and "thesficking."
However, Batteries Included has
assured Antic that these bugs are
fixed in PaperClip version 2.0 which
is presently shipping. Upgrades are
free with a dated receipt within 90
days of purchase. After that, the
fee is $10 for an updated 130XE
version and $15 for an upgrade from
XL to XE.
$59.95. Batteries Included, 30
Mural Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario,
L4B 1B5, Canada. (416) 881-9941.
(Reviewed in Antic, May 1985, page
ED.NOTE: Check out next week's Zmag
for the conclusion of this report.
Xx ZMAG EXTRA
ZMAG TYPE-IN PROGRAM
The following was sent in by a Zmag
reader in Indiana.
By: Dave Marzigliano
DEC>HEX Conversion Prgm.
10 DIM A$(9),AD$(1)
20 GR.0:? :? HEX NUMBER
30 ? :? "Enter 'D' for DEC to HEX."
32 ? :? "Enter 'H' for HEX to DEC."
36 INPUT A$
40 IF LEN(A$)=0 THEN 30
50 IF A$="H" THEN 300
60 IF A$<>"D" THEN 30
90 TRAP 90
100 ?:? "Enter a decimal number from"
105 ? "0 through 999999999."
110 ? "DEC:";:INPUT N
120 IF N<0 OR N>=1E+10 THEN GOTO 100
160 IF TEMP<10 THEN A$(I,I)=STR$(TEMP)
165 GOTO 180
180 IF N<>0 THEN I=I-1:GOTO 140
190 ? "HEX: ";A$(I,9):?
200 GOTO 110
300 TRAP 300
310 ? :? "Enter a HEX number from"
315 ? "0 through FFFFFFFF "
320 ? "HEX:";:INPUT A$
340 FOR I=1 TO LEN(A$)
345 AD$=A$(I,I):IF AD$<"0" THEN 300
350 IF A$(I,I)<"9" THEN N=N*16+VAL(AD$)
352 GOTO 370
355 IF AD$<"A" THEN 300
357 IF AD$>"F" THEN 300
370 NEXT I
380 ? "DEC: ";N:?
390 GOTO 320
This program can be typed in or
extracted from this issue with your
word processor and entered into
ATARI TABLE OF GRAPHIC MODES
MODE TYPE H V/S V/F COLORS RAM
0 Text 40 - 24 2 993
1 Text 20 20 24 5 513
2 Text 20 10 12 5 261
3 GR 40 20 24 4 273
4 GR 80 40 48 2 537
5 GR 80 40 48 4 1017
6 GR 160 80 96 2 2025
7 GR 160 80 96 4 3945
8 GR 320 160 192 1/2 7900
V/S=Verticle Rows Split Screen
V/F=Verticle Rows Full Screen
ZMAG TYPE IN PROGRAM
Atari Light Show
10 FOR ST=1 TO 8:GR.7
15 POKE 752,1
20 ?: ? " Atari's Special Light
25 SETCOLOR 2,0,0
30 SETCOLOR 1,2*ST,8:COLOR 2
40 FOR DR=0 TO 80 STEP ST
50 PLOT 0,0RAWTO 100,DR
60 NEXT DR:FOR N=1 TO 800:NEXT N
65 NEXT ST
70 FOR N=1 TO 2000:NEXT N:GOTO 10
Zmagazine #38 February 9, 1987