Classic Computer Magazine Archive START VOL. 1 NO. 2 / FALL 1986

  • From the GEM Desktop, you can access an "inactive" window by first holding down the right mouse button, then, while holding it down, clicking the left mouse button on any item within the inactive window.

  • A standard configuration 520 ST can safely handle a 200K RAMdisk.

  • If you need to reboot your ST, be wary of the Reset button. The Reset button only performs a "warmstart" which may leave unwanted data in the registers. To play it safe, it's best to use the power switch. Also, when rebooting a 1040 ST, turn the power off and count to 15 before turning it back on. It takes a while for the 1040 ST's power supplies to "zero out," This is particularly important when using a RAMdisk.

  • To make a program autoboot: From the File drop-down menu, create a folder called AUTO. The program you wish to start automatically should then be dragged into the AUTO folder. The chosen program must have a .PRG extender. You can also use a TOS program that does not make AES or VDI calls (since the AUTO folder is executed before GEM is initialized). Be sure to rename the file so that it has a .PRG filename extender. Now, power up your ST with the AUTO folder disk in drive A and your program will be executed. (See 'The Amazing MouseTrap" in this issue for an example.)

  • Instead of opening and closing windows to view files when changing disks, press [Esc]. This will cause the active drive to reread the disk.

  • The ST only allows a maximum of six desk accessories. If you want to put more than that on your boot disk, but only want a select few to automatically boot into the Desk menu, change the extenders of those you don't want from .ACC to .ACX. The operating system will ignore the .ACX files.

  • Though your program may be automatically relocated by GEM, there is a quick and dirty way for an assembly language program to find out where it is in memory. It makes use of the fact that a jsr pushes the PC (Program Counter) register onto the stack before jumping to the subroutine. The following code will load the absolute address of LABEL into address register 0 (A0):
            jsr LABEL           ;push the addr onto the stack
    LABEL:  movea.1 (SP)+,A0    ;now, pull it off
  • When printing a text file to the screen from the Desktop and the - - MORE - -prompt appears at the bottom, you probably know that pressing any key will print another screen of text. Did you know that pressing [Return] will print only one line at a time? Try it.

  • If you use the Developer's Kit, you can install the BATCH.TTP program as TOS-Takes-Parameters with a Document type of BAT, then anytime you open a .BAT (BATch) file, it will automatically run under the BATCH.TTP program.
(Editor's note: Got an ST trick or tip to share? Send it to START Attention CLIPBOARD.)