Classic Computer Magazine Archive START VOL. 3 NO. 11 / JUNE 1989


by Heidi Brumbaugh,
START Programs Editor

|n celebration of this issue's Arcade Addiction article by Tom Byron, here are three game tips compiled after intensive research by the START staff:

Defensive Groundwork

When Missile Command starts to get hectic, around the fourth level, spread a thin line of lasers from both missile silos at the very beginning of the round to pick off the first line of attack. Use both silos evenly so you don't exhaust your missile supply from either one of them early on.

Keep your Balance

The trickiest jumps in Tower Toppler are when you are jumping over a bouncing eye--timing in this devious situation is critical. Give yourself a head start by getting into position as close to the edge of the ledge as possible. Beware--hang over too much and the eye might knock you off as it bounces by, but getting as close as possible to the edge without falling off will give you the time you need to get clear when you make your jump.

Steady the Pace

Arkanoid is a fast-paced game and watch out--the longer you live in a single turn the faster it gets. We've noticed that the ball speeds up if you hold the paddle in the same position for too long. If the ball is thrashing around on a part of the screen where you don't need to hit it very often, keep the paddle moving back and forth.

Install Application: Setting it up

One feature of the ST Desktop's powerful Install Application option is that it lets you bypass the standard "Open Application" dialog box you see when you double-click on a program with the extension .TTP.

In most cases .TTP programs work on files that all have the same file extender. For example, ARCX.TTP always works on files with the extender .ARC. Install Applications lets you set up your system so that ARCX.TTP will automatically un-ARC any file you double-click on that has the extender .ARC.

To use Install Application, single click on the application you want to install, for example ARCX.TTP. When the program icon is highlighted, click on "Install Application. . " under the Options menu. The button "TOS-takes parameters" should be highlighted; if it isn't, single-click on it. Now type in the file extension ARC next to Document Type.

Click on OK (do not press Return). You must save your Desktop to your boot disk so that the next time you turn on your computer you will still be able to double-click on ARC files to un-ARC them.

Install Application: Solving the Problem

Install Application works great, so what's the problem? Say you have ARCX.TTP in the folder UTILS in drive D, but the file you want to un-ARC is in your SCRATCH directory on drive C. If you double-click on your archive file the system will first look for ARCX.TTP in the SCRATCH directory. If it doesn't find it, it will look for it on drive A. If ARCX.TTP isn't there you will get an error message telling you that the system can't find the file you just tried to access.

You can solve this problem by editing your Desktop Information file (DESKTOP.INF) and explicitly giving the path name for ARCX.TTP. Load DESKTOP.INF into your word processor and replace ARCX.TTP * with D:\UTILS\ARCX.TTP* in the line:

#P 03 04 ARCX.TTP* *.ARC*

Save the file in ASCII format and reboot the system.

Assembly Language Challenge

The assembly language code listing in this issue's Programming in Pascal column calculates the position of a pixel on the screen and performs an exclusive or (eor) on that pixel. This routine is fast, but it could be faster. To see how fast that routine could work the Clipboard is issuing a challenge:

Submit your version of the FLIPPIXM.S routine to the Clipboard (544 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107) in hard copy and disk format. Comment each line of code, and include in the comment line the number of clock cycles each instruction takes. Enclose with your entry a cover letter with your name, address, daytime phone number and the total number of clock cycles your routine takes.

The monochrome version of Small Flight (SFLTASM1.PAS) must work with this routine without any modifications. The fastest routine will be published in the Clipboard in a future issue of START, and the winner will receive $25.

All material becomes the property of Antic Publishing and may not be returned. In case of a tie, the entry with the earliest postmark will win. Entries must be received by June 30, 1989.