2265 Westwood B1., Ste. B-150
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(213) 475-4583 or 397-8811
$39.95, 32K-disk (req. BASIC)
Reviewed by David Duberman
TeleTari from Don't Ask Software is the first terminal program for the ATARI that supports the Bit 3, FullView 80, 80-column board. In addition, TeleTari is a highly adaptable telecommunications package. It's advertised as "The Friendly Terminal," an appropriate term.
After booting the program disk, the main menu appears. It prompts you to choose from among such options as Online, Save, Load, Review, and Terminal Parameters.
The Review option, as in several such programs, prints the contents of TeleTari's buffer to the screen. A superior feature of TeleTari's Review option is that you can use the arrow keys to page forward or backward through the buffer. This allows you to find selected portions of the buffer's contents quickly. You can also print selected portions of the buffer using the [OPTION] key during review.
The Print option sends the contents of the buffer to the printer at machine language speed. Thus, if your printer has a large enough buffer, you can go back online almost immediately while the printer prints what is in its buffer.
When first seeing the Terminal Parameters menu, a beginner in telecommunications might justly feel intimidated. There are many parameters to set, and a myriad of combinations of settings. Reading the manual should answer most, if not all questions. The manual includes clear and accurate information on how to set terminal parameters for various communications tasks. Also, you may save a custom set of terminal paramaters (say, for a special application) to a disk file.
You can save as many as ten different sets of parameters on one disk. The program comes with three custom sets for commonly used communications applications.
One of the manual's best features is the section on transferring programs. For one who has never uploaded or downloaded, the process can seem formidable. TeleTari's manual takes you by the hand and leads you through the procedure of transferring files. If you've - never received a program by downloading from a bulletin board, or sent one to a friend by uploading, you've missed half the fun of telecommunications.
Finally, the manual contains as an appendix an eight-page list of Public Access Message Systems. With these numbers and TeleTari, you can log on to free (for the cost of the phone call) bulletin boards all over the country, leave messages, download programs, and generally have a whale of a time with your ATARI.
Optimized Systems Software
10379 Landsdale Avenue
Cupertino, CA 95014
Reviewed by Richard E. DeVore
For those of you who wish for a BASIC with more power than the Atari 8K version but don't want to move to Microsoft BASIC because of incompatibility, here is a solution to your problem. All you need is a disk drive and at least 32K of memory to begin using BASIC A+. It is a disk-based machine language version of the BASIC language and is compatible with ATARI BASIC.
ATARI BASIC programs will run with BASIC A+ because the firm now known as Optimized Systems Software, Inc. originally wrote ATARI BASIC. The original version was designed to take up limited space and therefore has limited features. It also had some bugs which were discovered after the ROMs had been ordered, and they have not yet been removed. OSS addressed these problems and came up with BASIC A+. Although the language uses much more memory, with a 48K computer you still have approximately 23K to produce a program.
The documentation is supplied, not as a complete manual, but as a supplement to Atari's BASIC reference manual, which makes owning that book essential. After some cutting and pasting, you can have a manual which is complete and accurate. I assume the reason for this method of documentation is because A+ is an extended version of ATARI BASIC and that eliminates copyright problems. I would prefer, however, to get a complete manual with the product.
BASIC A+ provides many new statements which will make things easier and quicker. The main difference between it and Microsoft BASIC is in string handling. BASIC A+ supports PRINT USING which allows money fields to be right-just)fied as well as allowing a "floating" dollar sign, padding blank digits with asterisks, padding blank digits with zeros as well as string formatting. You may have prompts included in INPUT statements, while LVAR lists all variables for you. Other valuable debugging tools are TRACE and TRACE-OFF which allow you to choose a display of the line numbers as a program executes.
If you haven't yet memorized the error codes, having them show up on the screen in English is very handy. Also, certain commands that required DOS can be called up without waiting for "MEMSAV" to execute. Among these are: DIR, RENAME, PROTECT & UNPROTECT.
Other features that save time and effort are BGET and BPUT, RGET and RPUT instead of just GET and PUT. The B stands for block while R stands for record. These four statements can definitely speed up your work.
Player/Missile Graphics can be accessed by commands such as PMG which sets up your memory requirements, while PMMOVE will position a player anywhere on the screen. PMADR will return the memory location of a player, and PMCOLOR makes setting a player's colors simpler. PMWIDTH allows setting the width of a player and PMCLR will clear. The BUMP command reads the collision registers, i.e. BUMP(1,4) will look for a collision between player 1 and player 4. In fact, they devote 14 pages in the manual to explaining the enhanced Player/Missile Graphics!
BASIC A+ now comes with OS/A+ and EASMD (and Editor Assembler) at no extra cost. This is frosting on the cake, because BASIC A+ alone is well worth the price. For anyone who wishes to use a powerful BASIC while still remaining compatible with ATARI BASIC, this is the way to go!
One Caribou Court
Parkton, MD 21120
Reviewed by David Plotkin
Hellcat Ace, released by newcomer MicroProse Software, is the first realtime flight simulator for the ATARI home computers. While the graphics are not stunning, the game plays well and holds your interest with multiple skill levels and a variety of scenarios. It requires the BASIC cartridge as well as two joysticks.
Hellcat Ace is an air-combat simulator, set in the Pactfic theatre during World War II. You are the pilot of a Hellcat fighter, the U.S. Navy's best carrier-based fighter through most of the war. Your opponents are Japanese aircraft, both fighters and bombers. Through the front cockpit window you can see the sky and ocean. Below the cockpit view is a full instrument panel showing altitude, engine power, fuel, and rounds of ammunition remaining. A rear view mirror is also provided so that you can tell when your enemy is on your tail.
As Hellcat begins, you are given a choice from about twenty scenarios of famous Pactfic battles. Such events as Wake Island, Midway, Leyte Gulf, and the Marianas' "Turkey Shoot" are included. Once you pick a scenario, you will be faced with that screen first, and if you survive it, move on to the next one. You can then pick the level of difficulty as well as choose to face one or two enemy aircraft. Shooting down the enemy aircraft ends the scenario, increases your score and number of "kills", and moves you on to the next screen. A brief description of your mission comes up on the monitor before the next screen begins. Allowing enemy aircraft to shoot you down ends the game, although you have a chance to ditch your aircraft or bail out.
Your Hellcat fighter is controlled using a joystick plugged into slot 1. If you plug a joystick into slot 2, it controls the throttle (power) to the engine. The simulator flies very well, turning and banking realistically. As you bank the plane left and right, the sky/ocean interface tilts, just as it would in a real aircraft. Pulling back on the stick causes the plane to climb, and pushing the stick forward causes the plane to dive.
Aircraft velocity is also handled well. The plane gains speed as the altimeter unwinds in a dive, and you can "stall" your plane if you try to climb too steeply with too little engine power. A stall (fast loss in altitude and drop of the nose with resulting increase in speed) can be a good way to shake an enemy fighter from your tail. Fancy aerobatics are easily done; loops, barrel rolls, split "S" and Immelman turns are all possible and described in the instruction manual.
The fire button on the joystick plugged into slot 1 fires short bursts from your wing-mounted machine guns. Although there is a gunsight cursor, the instructions warn you that this is a manual gunsight, so you must correct for the effects of gravity, plane velocity, etc. You do get the feel of how to aim after awhile, but be prepared to waste a lot of ammunition at first. Multiple hits on the enemy aircraft are necessary to destroy it, and the number of hits required increases at the higher skill levels. The enemy aircraft may turn and attack you, generally from a head-on direction, although if he stays on your tail long enough he can also shoot you down from behind. If you are hit, you hear some loud bangs, the screen flickers, and then you spin. Better luck next time! The instructions say you can bail out by pressing the fire button on the throttle joystick, but I've never succeeded.
The enemy aircraft are single-color players, which change size and shape with their distance and orientation. It can be difficult to determine the enemy's intentions at long range due to the lack of color and definition of the enemy aircraft. It can also be difficult to tell that the enemy is firing at you until it is too late. While I suppose that this situation may simulate real life, I think an enhancement in the graphics of the enemy aircraft would improve this game.
For instance, the successful destruction of the enemy aircraft is somewhat anticlimatic. Rather than a brilliant explosion or spinning off the screen, the aircraft simply disappears with a bang, leaving behind a few bits of debris.
All in all, Hellcat Ace is an effective flight / combat simulator, responding smoothly to the joystick, and with enough varying difficulty to interest both and novice and the professional pilot (it was play tested by members of an Air National Guard Wing). While the graphics could be improved, the playability of the game is not harmed by this, and I recommend it to those of you with dreams of glory and the big blue yonder.
1265 Borregas Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(800) 538-8543 (outside California)
(800) 672-1404 (inside California)
79.95, 16K - cartridge
Reviewed by Mike Dunn
Atari has now released a new word processor, the AtariWriter, a 16K, ROM-based program for less than $100, that combines the best features IL Of the others. It can be used with either a cassette or disk system at a price that ' is hard to beat. The program is very ~ easy to use and comes with an excelfy lent instruction book.
When you plug in the cartridge and turn the computer on, you see the Atari symbol, then the menu. Choices are: Create File, Delete File, Edit File, Format Disk, Index of Disk Files, Load File, Print File and Save File. To begin your text, you choose Create and are greeted with the edit screen. On the top of your screen are the fileformatting commands and their defaults, which are easily changed. These include the top, bottom, left and right margins, page length, paragraph and line spacing, paragraph indentation, just)fication on and off, and print style. On the bottom of the screen are arrows indicating the various tab spacing, the current line and character location and the prompt for return to menu. In any part of the program there are always prompts to tell you what to ~ do next, and on many commands, a Y or N is required to make sure you want to carry it out. The error trapping is so excellent that lost files and mistakes are almost impossible.
All the usual Atari editing com'mands are available, as well as the ability to go up or down an entire screen at a time and go to the beginning or end of a line. You can delete characters, lines or a block of lines.
The best feature is the ability to restore the deleted text if you change your mind! This is done by storing the deleted text in a buffer in case you need it.
Text can be moved around, and you can search and replace text easily. You can instantly go to the top or the bottom of the file. However, when editing, only insert mode is available, which means you must delete unwanted text because you cannot type over it. This is a minor annoyance. The speed that the program can do all of this is impressive. There are no delays, all is instantaneous. The other word processors take much longer to do the same.
When you have finished your masterpiece, you can save it in DOS format or print it. You can preview it on the screen at the width you specify, using your 40-column screen as a window to quickly scroll horizontally. You can even right-justify your text on the screen, and specify the page you wish to preview.
AtariWriter can directly support all of the Atari printers, including the new Atari 1025 (made by Okidata).
APX (Atari Program Exchange) will be selling printer drivers for other popular printers, but you can use imbedded printer commands in your text by using the ASCII decimal number. With or without the printer driver, you are able to center text, double-column print, use elongated or various print sizes, use headers and footers, rightjustify monospaced print, number pages, use sub- and super-scripts, print a specific page and make multiple copies.
AtariWriter is the best non-game program Atari has released. The features it lacks, and that I miss, are the inability to type over text; the absence of user-made printer drivers (especially if APX doesn't make a printer driver for your printer); and the lack of database merge. Compared to the other word processors available, it is clearly superior on price and performance to Text Wizard and the Atari Word Processor.
Letter Perfect is still a strong contender, as LJK is currently working on an upgrade that will have many more features, including the adjustment of dot-spaces for various proportional fonts, with a disk full of printer drivers included. Letter Perfect also can merge with DataPerfect, LJK's excellent database system. This is a capability that AtariWriter and other word processors lack. But for most people, the AtariWriter should satisfy their needs very well at a very attractive price.
Ease of Use
Excellent Error Trapping
Excellent Instruction Manual
Cassette or Disk
Many Easy-to-use Editing Commands
Ability to Use Imbedded Printer Commands
Availability of Printer Drivers
Preview at Full Printer Iine Width and Justification
Print Individual Pages
Print Multiple Copies
Send Files Over Modem
No type-over editing--only Insert mode
Lack of User-Made Printer Drivers
Lack of Automatic Data-base Merge
A B C -- A BASIC Compiler
Monarch Data Systems
P.O. Box 207
Cochituate, MA 01778
Reviewed by Jerry White
Attention: ATARI BASIC programmers. We have finally found an excellent compiler for ATARI BASIC! A BASIC Compiler (ABC) can make your ATARI BASIC programs run from four to twelve times faster and possibly use less memory. If you have at least 40K of RAM and one disk drive, read on.
ABC reads tokenized ATARI BASIC programs from diskette, translates into P-code, then writes a compiled runtime version onto diskette. To use the compiled version of your program, you simply remove your ATARI BASIC cartridge, and binary load it from DOS 2.0S.
To insure that the compiled version is relocatable and will run under various system configurations, you simply compile a second time using a different load: address, then run a second program that will generate completely relocatable code. If you are simply compiling programs for your own personal use, these two steps are not required.
The speed and size of your compiled program will vary depending on the condition of your original program. During extensive testing, I found that the compiled program was always considerably faster and used less memory than the original on my 48K system. As a general rule, the increase in speed and decrease in RAM usage will be greater in large programs. On a 48K system, about 4K of the cartridge area is recovered since the compiled programs run with no cartridge present. On systems of less than 48K, compiled programs may or may not require less than 48K, compiled programs may or may not require more RAM than the original BASIC version. This will vary from program to program.
To provide an example for 'this review, I chose a program called Masher from APX. Masher is a BASIC program compactor designed to decrease the RAM requirements of your BASIC programs. It is one of the slowest running programs imaginable. Although it occupies only 41 sectors on the diskette, Masher requires 32K RAM, due in part to its extensive use of arrays. The compiled version of Masher uses approximately 7.5K less RAM on my 48K system, and runs an average of 5.2 times faster. In the majority of the other programs I complled, the RAM savings were not as great, but the increase in speed was greater.
Much of the increased speed is due to the elimination of floating-point math. If your program uses floatingpoint, you will have to change it so that you use integers only. ABC permits 3 byte integers and the range between a negative and a positive eight million.
The well-written, 20-page ABC manual provides examples to show you how to convert from floatingpoint to integer routines. The lack of floating-point math prevents the use of the following functions: ATN, CLOG, COS, EXP, LOG, RND, SIN, SQR. Fortunately these functions can be simulated. For example, the following routines will both return a random number from 0 to 3. The first example would not be permitted since the RND instruction is not accepted by the compiler. The second example would provide the same result without using RND.
Example 1: RAND = INT(RND(0)*4)
Example 2: RAND = INT(PEEK(53770)*4/256)
Since the compiled version of your program runs without the BASIC cartridge, you will also have to live with out a few other commands. I found this to be a small price to pay in return for the speed and efficiency of a com piled program. You will have to remove the following commands fron your programs before you compile: LIST? BYE, DEG, LOAD, RAD, DOS, CSAVE, ENTER, CONT, NEW, SAVE, RUN, LPRINT, CLOAD.
Since a compiled program will execute much faster than the original BASIC version, you can be reasonably certain that you will have to make at least some changes in most programs. Sound loops may require adjustment because sound changes drastically depending on duration.
By now I should have made my point. You can't just compile your existing BASIC programs and expect to get the desired results. You must start with a bug-free program that does not rely on quirks in the BASIC cartridge, avoid the use of floating-point routines and unsupported functions, and make the necessary timing adjustments. Once your program has been compiled, it runs as if it were written in "C" or "FORTH", and you get "protected" or unreadable code as a bonus.
I found ABC to be quite friendly and easy to use. I highly recommend it to professional software developers and hobbyists alike.
At the time of this writing, I was told that some pre-release, unprotected copies of ABC were being circulated. This is most unfortunate since it may be harmful to the sales of this fine product, and because the pre-release version was not yet bug-free. I urge you to purchase ABC in order to insure vendor support and error-free computing. ABC is well worth its $69.95 price tag.
150 North Main St.
Fairport, NY 14450
40K-diskette $34.95 (master) $24.95 (data disk)
Reviewed by Steve Randall
"At last-a computer card-simulation game with a real payoff!" exclaims Larry Liberal, entertainment writer for a large East Coast newspaper.
"Trash," retorts Frank Fundamentalist, evangelical preacher with roots deep in the great Midwest. "Its only appeal is to the prurient interest of the participants, nothing else," continues Frank.
"Nothing else?!" cries Larry. "How about the challenge of having to outplay either of the two lovely opponents at a hot game of five card draw poker? It's not just iike opening the pages of certain magazines. There's strategy and luck involved in order to win."
When the selection screen boots up, we have to decide which voluptuous woman will be our opponent this round. While mulling over our choice, the program plays a few musical bars which remind us of that pop hit from a few years back-"The Stripper". This round we choose Melissa instead of Suzi, and the top half of the screen fills with an excellent Graphics 7.5 dravving of a reclining, fully-clothed generously-proportioned young woman.
"Sexists!" shouts Flora Feminist. "Why aren't there men available for the women?"
"There are," Larry says. "The manufacturer has made two additional data disks available that include both sexes."
As the game continues, the player must win $100 to get the woman to remove one article of clothing. If she wins hack part of the hundred, she may put the same piece of clothing back on. This can be most discouraging, and here is where the strategy of play can be really critical.
The women play fairly good poker except for occacionallv drawing two cards to a flush. (You wouldn't want them to play too well, would you?) In order to totally disrobe your opponent, you must amass $400. Total nudity of the women is the big payoff in Strip Poker and certainly gives you an added appreciation of the ATARI's graphic capabilities!
All giggles aside, the execution of Strip Poker is very good The inter action with the player is excellent. The game is completely controlled by a joystick (once you've selected your opponent), and after two or three hands you should have no problems playing. Naturally, your success depends on your poker skills.
Is Strip Poker for you? That depends on whether you agree with Larry, Frank or Flora. As for me-"Whose turn is it to bet...?"
The Basic Compiler
9421 Winnetka Ave.
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Reviewed by David Duberman
A compiler is a program that converts some other program, one that is written in a high-level language such as BASIC, into machine language. This results in a program that runs much faster than the original. Until recently, BASIC has only been available in interpreted versions for the ATARI, for example ATARI BASIC, Atari Microsoft BASIC, and BASIC A+. These BASICs must convert each line of a running program to machine language every time the line is executed. As a result, speed is hampered by the interpreter.
Datasoft's BASIC Compiler also converts each line of a BASIC program to machine language, but only once. It does this by creating an object (machine-language) file and writing it to disk. This converted program will then run automatically after a binary load, using the 'L' option from DOS.
Many people have favorite software written in BASIC that runs too slowly. For instance, there are some great public-domain databases available that can easily be customized to your exact requirements. Unfortunately, these do searches and sorts quite sluggishly, because they are written entirely in BASIC. Using the BASIC Compiler, such programs run up to 15 times faster.
Elimination of the interpretation step is one key to the speed of a compiled program. Another is that integer arithmetic can be used instead of floating-point. ATARI BASIC uses floating-point, and it may be retained in a compilation, but with some sacrifice of speed. It is only about three times faster than interpreted BASIC, as opposed to 15 times faster using integer arithmetic. If floating-point is used, there are a few restrictions on the BASIC source program. Complex system commands (e.g. LOAD, ENTER, SAVE, LIST) are prohibited in the program, though RUN is allowed. All other keywords are allowed, unlike some other compilers that only allow a few keywords.
DATA statements must be placed at the end of the BASIC source program. This ~s not a problem, because it doesn't matter where in the program the DATA statements occur as long as their original order is preserved, and RESTORE statements are renumbered accordingly. The ATARI screen editor is ideal for renumbering DATA lines to the end of the program, and then deleting them from their original positions.
Also, FOR loops must have only one NEXT. For example:
200 FOR I = 1 TO 4:READ A:IF A = 255 THEN NEXT I
210 ARRAY(I) = A:NEXT I
will cause the compiler to issue an error message upon encountering the second "NEXT 1". There are a few other minor restrictions involving string manipulations and variable line references (e.g., no "GOSUB 100 + X"). These are easily circumvented with assistance from the manual.
If integer arithmetic is used by the compiled program, the above restrictions apply, plus a few more. First, calls to the floating-point transcendental functions such as SQR, LOG, COS, etc. are not allowed. The RND function takes the form:
and returns an integer between 0 and X-1 inclusive. This form of the random function is actually easier to use than the ATARI BASIC version, i.e. INT(X*RND(0). In addition, with integer arithmetic, no numbers having fractional parts may appear in the program. Also, your program must not generate any numeric value outside the range of -32767 to 32767, although PEEKs and POKEs outside this range still work. If your program does contain any fractional values or transcendental routines which can't be altered, a compiled program using floatingpoint arithmetic still offers a significant increase in speed.
Compilation is fairly simple, especially if you follow the excellent instructions accompanying the program. On a single-drive system, a BASIC program of up to 100 sectors may be compiled, and the capacity increases with a multi-drive system. Once you have ensured that the program fits the necessary specifications, and that the original version executes properly, the compiler functions automatically, with little or no assistance necessary on the part of the user.
The compiler is a machine-language program that reads your BASIC program from disk in tokenized form and creates Assembly Language files from it on disk. An Assembler is then loaded, which translates the Assembly t Language files to binary and creates the final object file. Compilation takes four passes. During the process, a runtime package of machine-language routines is added to the program. This is used by the compiled BASIC program as it executes. If errors occur during compilation, a message appears on the screen giving the options to continue the process or abort. In the latter case, control is passed to DOS.
Once compilation is complete you are given the option of printing a "line map" to disk, screen, or printer. This invaluable reference lists all the line numbers of the original BASIC program and shows the memory locations where corresponding machinelanguage instructions reside. l strongly urge you to use this option every time you compile a program, for the following reason. If a run-time error is generated by the compiled program, the run stops and an error message appears. This contains an ATARI BASIC error message number and a trace of addresses (in decimal) which shows the sequence of subroutine calls preceding the error. In addition, the option prompts you for a run address so you can restart the program from anyplace in memory without having to reboot, as is usually the case when an error occurs in a machinelanguage program.
I tested this program by compiling a public domain maze chase game. The original runs very slowly, partly because of the fairly clumsy code, but mostly because of the BASIC interpreter and the floatingpoint arithmetic employed by ATARI BASIC. The original BASIC program occupied 77 sectors, took about 20 seconds to initialize, and about 17 seconds to move a player across the screen with the joystick. Only one change in the program was necessary for compilation, an easily altered RND function. The program compiled in about ten minutes and generated an object file of 133 sectors in size. The compiled game now takes about one second to initialize, and the player moves SO fast that accurate control is impossible. It's entirely fair to say that the increase in: speed of a compiled program using integer arithmetic is astonishing.
9421 Winnetka Ave.
Chatsworth, CA 91311
(800) 423-5916 (orders)
Reviewed by Richard Kalagher
Would you like a terminal program that allows you to change the screen color when your eyes get tired? How about being able to type into a text window at the same time you are receiving data, then sending the text window to the remote computer by just pressing RETURN? Or would you like a continuous display of the current time, how long you have been connected and how much it has cost you for connect time? All of these features and many more are available in Datasoft's new TELE-TALK program.
TELE-TALK has not been heavily advertised and I have not seen it at many local computer stores, but it is certainly one of the most powerful terminal programs available for the ATARI. I have been using it for several months to communicate with both time sharing services and local bulletin boards. The more I use TELE-TALK, the more I appreciate the many features in this program. First of all, it is written in machine language, making it faster and more responsive than terminal programs written in BASIC. The program is menu-driven, so you do not need to remember any commands. The menus are set up so that you can perform most functions in one or two keystrokes.
The main menu allows you to set the time; read, clear or spool the text buffer to disk, cassette, or printer; upload or download; and perform DOS-like functions such as viewing the disk directory or renaming, deleting, locking and unlocking files. One interesting menu item called EDIT OPTION KEYS allows you to enter and save up to ten separate lines of text. These lines can be transmitted when you are in command mode by simply pressing the OPTION key simultaneously with one digit from 0 to 9. This is very useful for sending log-on codes, passwords, telephone dialing commands to programmable modems, or any commonly sent phrases.
A second major menu allows you to modify the port configuration. It contains a list of eighteen items ranging from parameters such as port number and baud rate, to exotic things like showing control characters and turning word wrap on and off. (Yes, there is a word wrap feature just like in word processing programs!) This menu is very easy to use. The vertical cursor arrows are used to select one of the eighteen items, while the horizontal arrows are used to select all legal values for each of these items. Pressing "D" will automatically set all of these parameters to their default values. By the way, I have found that the default values have worked fine for all of the connections I have made.
Once you have changed all of the parameter values you want and entered text into the EDIT OPTION KEYS, you can save your custom program to a disk file that can be loaded whenever you want this same configuration. In fact, if you name the file DEFT.PRO and save it on the original disk, it will load automatically when you boot TELE-TALK. This file is only three disk sectors long, so loading it only takes a second or two.
You can choose to continuously save text in a buffer or turn the SAVE TEXT feature on and off when you want. A horizontal line at the top of the screen changes color from left to right as the buffer fills. This is a very handy feature since you can see at a glance what portion of your buffer is empty. When the buffer is full, TELETALK automatically tells the remote computer to stop transmitting, and switches you to the main menu so you can save and / or clear the buffer. TELE-TALK also lets you review the buffer on the screen at any time. Reviewing or saving the buffer does not automatically clear it, so you can make several copies.
TELE-TALK comes with a well written, 16-page manual which fully explains how to use the program and gives you a number of helpful hints.