Classic Computer Magazine Archive START VOL. 4 NO. 1 / AUGUST 1989

Dialog Box

Letters From Our Readers

ST Writer Fan
I love ST Writer Elite 3.0 (START, April 1989)! I think it's great to be able to include all the functions of my printer in a single line without creating a new printer driver, like I have to for Word Writer. I'd never before used my printer's elite or elongated styles, because I'd never been able to do so-until now. Let me also thank you for publishing the START Selector and PUTmaker.

J.D. Falk
Silver Spring, MD

C Column Request
I enjoy your magazine very much. It is far and away the best ST-devoted magazine I have come across. I read the "Programming in BASIC' column regularly and have found the tips very useful. I have, however, purchased Laser C and would find a column on programming in C very useful or, as another reader suggested, a column for those making the transition from BASIC to C. Any plans for something like this?

Sam Heath
Vancouver BC

Yes! START recognizes the popularity of C and definitely has a column in the works. Watch for it soon-START Editor.

MusiCode Plug
I own an Atari 1040ST and a Yamaha TX81Z synthesizer. Recently, I bought a TX81Z/DX11 Voice Development System from MusiCode. It's wonderful. The displays are handsomely and logically presented; the manual is understandable and thorough. The user interface is especially well-designed, letting you change parameters on the TX81Z and access all programming features with remarkable ease. Mouse operations are complimented by numerous simple keyboard equivalents. The program also includes several special features (a randomizei a MIDI-file-compatible Sequencer enhanced chord effects, a built-in librarian and a "performance auto-load" feature that automatically loads voices, micro tune and effects data with a selected performance).

For the reasonable price of $99, this program packs quite a punch! The developers at MusiCode have obviously spent a great deal of time and effort figuring how to best serve the TX/DX user I think their product is a fine example of ST programming at its best.

Gary Pisher
Rochester, NY

pc-ditto II Questions
I recently read David Plotkin's article on pc-ditto II in the May [1989] issue and I have some questions. First, exactly what graphics modes on the IBM PC does pc-ditto II support? When I see IBM software, it usually lists more than one graphics mode available. Does this mean that if the package lists a mode emulated on pc-ditto II, it will automatically work? And finally, you mentioned that enhanced IBM graphics modes can't be emulated on the ST. Are there a great many IBM products (games, graphics, CADD) that use enhanced graphics modes? I'm a layman when it comes to IBM software, so I would appreciate any help you could give me.

Matt Harpold
Kent, WA

For those readers who missed David Plotkin's recent report, pc-ditto II is the long-awaited hardware IBM PC emulator for the ST developed by Bill Teal's Avant-Garde Systems. The primary advantage of pc-ditto II over pc-ditto is speed-it's the equivalent of an IBM PC AT. However, it still can't put more colors on the screen than the ST is capable of displaying. pc-ditto II can emulate monochrome and CGA (Color Graphics) modes, but not EGA (Extended Graphics) or PGA (Professional Graphics) modes. Most PC software will run in several modes; check the packages carefully before buying to be sure that a particular piece of software will run in CGA or monochrome. If a program lists,for example, CGA and EGA modes, then it will run under pc-ditto II in the lower resolution of CGA. Recent products, particularly high-end graphics products, are designed to use only EGA or PGA graphics; these will not run under pcditto II.

Watch for a review in an upcoming issue.-START Editor

Monochrome SEURAT
In the March 1989 issue of START, you published an excellent precision drawing program by Sterling K. Webb called SEURAT. Each time I boot SEURAT, however it shows up in inverse video on my Atari SM124 monochrome monitor. I have tried resetting the disk without desk accessories and used many combinations of the programs' function calls all to no avail. There must be some way to return to normal video. Have you heard of this problem and could you spare any advice?

Philippe Bleau
Chicoutimi, Quebec

Monochrome users can swap the foreground and background colors SEURAT uses by double-clicking on the left pallette box (this is the white box above the view window on the main screen).-START Editor

Flash! Insights
One of the most informative "comparison?' articles you've ever published was Jerry McBride's "A Buyer's Guide to Telecommunications Programs" in the May 1989 issue. Good job, Mr. McBride!

I must admit, however, that I was a little surprised at some of the omissions concerning Flash! As a long time Flash! user I noticed the errors in the START Chart right away and I didn't expect to see any errors concerning an Antic product in an Antic publication. Just to set the record straight I've taken the liberty of correcting them here.

Flash! does have ARC/un-ARC ability. It is accessed from the command line by entering ARC (parameters). Just as with ST-Talk this requires that ARC.TTP be available for the program to use. Enter ARC from the command line.

The program also has a "View File" function. Just enter VIEW (filename) from the command line or press [Alternate]-[V].

Flash! does support CompuServe's Quick B protocol. It will utilize it automatically when prompted by CIS, as long as you are in Vidtex mode.

These are all minor errors to be sure, and considering the poor manual that comes with Flash! I'm not surprised they snuck by McBride and the START editors.

While I have your attention I'd like to let you in on a tip that makes Flash! a little less awkward to use. Instead of having to grab the mouse in order to toggle between terminal and buffer screens I usually just press [Alternate]-[Clr Home]. This is functionally the same as clicking the right mouse button and it doesn't require removing your hands from the keyboard. Try it, I think you'll like it!

Gordon Meyer
DeKaIb, Illinois

Thanks very much for the corrections and tips.- START Editor

Special Thanks
Thank you very much for reviewing CADD Level 1 for the Atari in the March issue. We appreciate Mr. Edwards' fair and accurate observations about our product, and that, despite its drawbacks, he still feels it merits recommendation.

Tina D. Eliason
Marketing Communications
Generic Software

ST Writer Bug?
There seems to be a small bug in version 3.0 of ST Writer Elite (START, April 1989). The first few times I chose "Pr. Driver;" my system crashed. Through trial and error, I discovered that the crash happened when ST Writer was in a non-root directory. After I copied the program and resource files from "E:\STWR1TER.300" into "D:\" the copy in the "D:\" folder worked just fine.

Francis Pardo
New York City

Thanks for the warning. We'll pass your bug report along to ST Writer guru Bruce Noonan.-S TART Editor