Classic Computer Magazine Archive START VOL. 5 NO. 4 / DECEMBER 1990


Overseas Electricity
I am moving to Germany soon, and I am concerned about being able to use my ST there. The electricity of most European countries is 220 volts/50 Hz. I could be wrong, but I think it would be best to replace the power supplies to accept their type of current rather than hook the computer up to a converter that changes the voltage. I have no idea whether the components would even work with converted power. I'm very sure that the internal clocks and motors would slow down and not allow the hard and floppy disks I already have to be read properly. Please enlighten me as to whether it would be best to have the power supplies changed before I leave or wait until I get there. Or should I dump what I have and purchase a new ST in Germany? Is it even possible to change power supplies?

Name withheld by request

Atari technical support replies that a North American-model ST. disk drives and printer will work in European countries if you use the proper transformer to convert the voltage. There is no need to change power supplies. Voltage transformers are available at many electronics stores; ask the clerk to help you choose one that will work in Germany. If you plan to be overseas for a long time (five years or more), Atari recommends that you sell your ST system and purchase a European ST simply for the convenience of not having to deal with the transformer - START Ed.

Printer Control
I am writing to you for some information on setting the "Install Printer" function that comes with the Control Panel. It seems that whenever a program prints some graphics on my printer, I have to run the Control Panel and set the Pixels/Line to 960, or the last 1/3 of the graphic is lost on the page.

I really don't understand what the Pixels/Line setting is for. My printer manual only refers to setting the dots-per-inch from the application program. The choices are 60,72,80,90,120,240 dots per inch. What is the relationship of these to the 960/1280 setting in the Control Panel? Also, since I always set it to 960, what is the 1280 for?

One more thing, since I never use the Control Panel for anything else, has anyone figured a way to set the 960 Pixels/Line without having to load the 15K Control Panel? A short utility to accomplish this would be great for us memory-starved 520ST owners.

Charles Sabbiondo
College Point, NY

You don't have to set the Control Panel each time you use your printer. If you choose Save Desktop from the Options menu after changing any of the settings on the Control Panel, your settings, including Pixels/Line, are saved to disk (in a file called DESKTOP.INF) and are automatically loaded by the Control Panel accessory the next time you boot your ST with that disk. If you don't want to use up 15K of your memory, then you can replace CONTROL.ACC with the public-domain program GETDEFS.ACC, which will install your DESKTOP.INF settings, but requires only 1K of memory. (Be sure to save CONTROL.ACC in case you want to change the settings. It can be disabled by re-naming it CONTROL.AC.)

The Pixels/Line refers to the density of dots printed on one, 8-inch line by your printer. Epson-compatible printers default to 960 dots per 8 inches, or 120 dots per inch; this is what your printer manual is referring to. The Atari Dot Matrix Graphics Printer uses the 1280 setting. - START Ed.

BBS Search
I would like to buy a BBS with a program to modify it so that it looks the way I want. I have tried three BBS software packages, with no success in understanding them. The authors seem to assume that the user is already experienced with BBSs and telecommunications. Can you recommend a BBS program with an understandable manual?

Lynn Ellsworth
Albany, NY

We agree that setting up a BBS can be a complicated task. While we can't recommend any particular BBS, we can suggest that you find a BBS expert who can help you. Where can you find a BBS expert? At an ST users group, of course! It is possible that the group itself runs a BBS, and their sysop may be glad to help you set up your system. To receive a list of users groups located in your area, send a SASE to: Atari Corporation, Users Group List, P.O. Box 61657 Sunnyvale, CA 94088. -START Ed.
Pro MIDI Player
We printed the wrong address for Pro MIDI Systems in our review of Pro MIDI Player version 4.0, which appeared in the October 1990 START. The correct U.S. address is:
  Box 13
  Laurier, WA 99146

In Canada, write:
  Box 562
  Christina Lake, B.C.
  Canada V0H 1E0