Tips `n' Tricks
1027 INK ROLLERS: Good news for anyone still using the Atari 1027 letter-quality printer. Our Man aging Editor recently obtained a replacement 1027 ink roller from B&C ComputerVisions and is pleased to report their latest stock of this item appears to be fine.
During the period 1989 to 1991 many vendors-including Atari Corp. itself-had acquired defective lots of these rollers. The defectives were easily identified by the fact that they quickly disintegrated, flinging bits of ink-laden material everywhere as the roller turned; it was also easy to scoop out a chunk of the spongy roller with a fingernail. The latest available stocks have a tough roller surface that doesn't come to pieces with use and will hold up to several rounds o£ re-inking. Better stock up!
XF-551 Mitsumi Mechs: from our Hardware Editor comes a hot tip for replacing the extremely rare Mitsumi drive mechanism in the XF-551 drive. New drive mechs are available from Syntax Computer, Inc. The mechanisms are brand new, $40/each plus shipping. They are identical to the original Atari mechanism with the exception that the Ready light is red instead lime-green.
Weirditudes of AtariWriter 80: AT-80 doesn't like filenames that begin with a number, like 8BITFILE.TXT. Any attempt to LOAD or SAVE such files will bomb out with a Device Timeout error. If you must have a file that begins with a numeric character, preface LOAD or SAVE commands with D1:, D2:, etc., and it will work OK.
The SpartaDOS RD.COM RAMdisk utility is doesn't work properly with AT-80 for files larger than 16K. Attempts to load files larger than 16K from a D8: RAMdisk will result in the text being distributed in scrambled fashion among the three AT-80 memory banks.
It is wise to add an extra line of blank spaces at the end of an AT-80 file. Failure to do so sometimes results in the last few characters not getting printed when the file is sent to a parallel printer.
If you scroll down a full screen of text one line at a time, when the cursor reaches the bottom of the screen there is a bug that suddenly sends you all the way to the end of your file instead of the top of the next screen: very annoying.
The first time this happens, simply pad the end of the file with a <CR>. Return to the top of the file using SELECT-T, and thereafter you'll be able to scroll downward without problem. You can remove the extra <CR> if you want; scrolling will still work.
We want bugs! Do you have a hot tip or news of a previously undocumented bug in a program? If so, we want to hear about it! Send your info to our Editorial Office.