Letters From Our Readers
Special Thanks from Neophyte
As a neophyte ST user I must say I'm impressed with the quality of your magazine. After purchasing my 1040ST I began checking out various mags for ST support. The first one I purchased was a British magazine. It not only gave item prices in pounds, but was mostly ads--there was very little useful information, and almost no user assistance.
Upon purchasing my first issue of START (March 1989),I quickly realized what a great mag it is. The layout is easy to follow and the great programs on disk are an incredible "freebie." I found the instructions and programming information easy to follow. And to get an awesome paint program like SEURAT for only the price of the magazine was a real surprise to a user who fully expected to spend hundreds of dollars for start-up programs. I look forward to many more issues of START magazine, and many more "free" programs.
Martin L. Hesterly
Thanks for the compliments. START's editorial goal has always been to appeal to both the novice and veteran computer user. Judging from your letter we've accomplished at least part of that goal.
However, you do bring up a point that needs clarification. Even though START presents a disk version for only $14.95 each month, the programs are still not 'free." Every program we publish is copyrighted, which means they can't be distributed without the permission of START magazine.--START Editor
Cyber Corner a Hit
As someone who is actively getting involved with ST animation I find START's Cyber Corner to be an absolutely excellent source of information. I encourage you to continue with this column.
I teach Music Recording at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario and although we are very seriously involved with the ST and MIDI, creating music and sound effects and then synchronizing the result to video is equally important. The ST's ability to create fabulous animations, and Video Key's service of allowing us to put this information on the VCR, sets up a wonderful stage for MIDI, video, music and animation all working through the ST. It's a wonderful computer indeed.
My department is currently installing a $500,000 upgrade to our equipment and facilities. In the end the ST will still be there, and I think that says a lot. Thanks again for a very informative magazine.
Wanted: More Memory
I have owned my 520ST for about two years, and now would like to expand its memory. What, in your opinion, is the best memory upgrade with an affordable price? I've already checked into EZ-RAM II, but found out from my vendor that only 60 percent of them install easily and pass the memory test. Another memory upgrade I checked into was one by Tech Specialties that can be socketed for 1, 2.5 or 4 megabytes of RAM. That sounded great, but wouldn't it load down the power supply? I checked into it a little further and found that it doesn't load down the power supplies because it is CMOS. If anyone is into electronics like I am would know that CMOS is very slow. That would increase the wait time of the expanded RAM to catch up with the microprocessor.
I would like to see a memory upgrade like the one Tech Specialties had but without the wait time. I don't really care about the power supply load, because I could either beef up my present power supply or customize one to fit my needs. Can you please suggest a few memory upgrades that are on the market today? I can no longer stand the message "insufficient memory to run this program."
You might want to give Aerco's 1- to 4-megabyte memory upgrade a try. One of the START editors has had a 2.5-megabyte expansion in his 520ST for over a year with no problems. The cost is $169 (without RAM chips), and you can order one from San Jose Computer, 640 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose, CA 95123. Phone (408) 224-8575.--START Editor
Kudos to ISD Marketing
Last December I purchased DynaCADD from ISD Marketing. I'm not very familiar with CAD software, but I highly recommend that if anyone is at all serious about using CAD they should purchase DynaCADD. Product support is wonderful--I wrote to ISD with some questions before I purchased DynaCADD and received a quick response with all of my questions clearly answered. I have also phoned them a couple of times with questions and found them to be extremely helpful. Since ISD has responded the way they have I will be purchasing their Calamus DTP software also.
Larry A. Lund
Santa Clara, California
Something for Everyone
I fully enjoyed the April issue of START--the Jimmy Hotz article was very interesting! I always enjoy the mix of articles and of programs on disk; there seems to be something for everyone each month.
I have one comment about the revised version of ST Writer (ver. 3.0) in the April issue. When printing the manual, the output on my printer is not anywhere near the same quality as the older version was. There is no spacing at the end of a page, no page numbers and no underlining. It's just not as neat as the older version. Any suggestions?
The presentation of the ST Writer manual was a tough call for us. In the past, the manual has been on the disk in ST Writer format, which included underlining, special formatting, page breaks, etc. The problem was that you cannot view ST Writer files by double-clicking on them from the Desktop. We found that too many new ST users were unable to access the manual at all, because in order to view the manual you needed to know how to load it into ST Writer, create a valid configuration file, and print it out--and in order to do this you first needed to read the manual! We felt it was unfair to our readers to provide them with a great word processor and then subject them to this Catch-22 situation. The manual is now in ASCII-format, so you can view or print it from the Desktop.
There weren't very many changes in the new manual, so for the most part you can still use the old, formatted version. The only other suggestion we have is to load the ASCII-file into ST Writer itself, add a formatting line and print it out from there; this will at least give you even page breaks.--START Editor
Moon Calendar Woes
I have a problem with the Moon Calendar from the February 1989 issue. It seems my printer has gone on strike for a 24-day month--it won't print out the whole calendar. I have tried everything I know to correct it, but to no avail. I would appreciate any clues you could give me. The computer is a 1040ST and the printer is a Star NP-10.
Lantzville, British Columbia
The GFA BASIC print command that Moon Calendar uses (HARDCOPY) prints the screen using the same system routine used when you press Alternate-Help. For this reason you can change your printer parameters using the Install Printer option in the Control Panel desk accessory, or by loading an alternate printer driver using Tom Hudson's printer driver desk accessory from the Summer 1986 issue of START.
To solve the problem you're having, boot your computer with CONTROL.ACC on your boot disk, click on Install Printer (or Control Panel, depending on which version of CONTROL.ACC you have) and change the Pixels per Line option from 1280 to 960. Click on Ok and then click on Save Desktop to retain the settings.--START Editor