I/O Board is a forum for information exchange, problems and comments from and for our readers. We edit your letters heavily in order to make space for the ones of more general interest. Some correspondents may receive personal replies to specific questions if they provide a self-addressed stamped envelope. We appreciate the many letters of encouragement, and we consider your criticisms even if they do not appear in I/O Board. --ANTIC ED
I would like to report on the 48K memory expansion kit for the ATARI 400, made by Dynamic Technologies.
I installed one of these for a friend of mine. The kit is well-documented with a 19-page manual of step-by-step instructions and a troubleshooting section. It took two hours to do the job. When we turned on the computer and entered PRINT FRE(0); the TV displayed 37,902-the amount of free RAM space available.
The kit has been in and running for six weeks, and so far no problems. At $109 this was a very cheap memory upgrade. If you can follow directions and solder, I think this kit will work for you.
USER GROUP INFO
I purchased my first few ANTICs on the newsstand, then asked for and received a subscription as a Christmas present from my wife. Your Christmas card and Valentine have helped me justify that gift to her, and this letter would not have been written without Tiny Text (ANTIC #6). Can you tell me how to link up with a User Group around here?
Portola Valley, CA
Information about User Groups can be obtained from Atari, Inc. 's User Group Support Staff, (408) 942-6827, or by writing them at P. O. Box 50047, 60 E. Plumeria, San Jose, CA 95150. --ANTIC ED
We have entered and played Stellar Defense with great success. We discovered that the following changes improved the flow:
183 ST = STICK(0):SQ = STRIG(0):
POSITION A,22:? CHR$(24); and change line 190 to read
190 POSITION A,22:?CHR$(24);
If the game is too easy for you, change lines 250, 281,300, and 751 to limit the number of shots to 50.
Ken Chapman family
[code--Spells out a continuous vertically scrolling "KEEP ON TRUCKING" along with white center lines--like a road--using only PRINT statments]
I am 12 years old and have been an ANTIC reader FROM THE START. You guys are doing a great, super, excellent and outstanding job! Do you think you could do a series of articles for beginning Assembly Language programmers? I think it would be good for a lot of us out here.
How could we refuse --ANTIC ED
Anyone purchasing an ATARI computer should test all functions before the warranty expires. I didn't, and it cost me $45 labor to replace a 36¢ defective transistor in my cassette I / O circuit. If I had just tried my 400 with a 410 Program Recorder I would have discovered it.
BACK SEAT TREATMENT
I'm an ATARI computer owner who enjoys playing games after a hard day's work. I've heard the new 5200 game machine and its cartridges are supposed to top the 400/800 versions. Does this leave the 400/800 in the back seat, or what?
D. P. Adam
San Pedro, CA
The 5200 Advanced Game System is really an ATARI computer dedicated to games. It is based on the 6502 microprocessor, as are the 400, 800 and 1200 computers. The 5200 is scheduled to get an adapter keyboard that will make it programmable (see Inside ATARI, this issue); but no more so than the computers, which remain equally fine game players. ANTIC will begin regular coverage of these game machines next issue. --ANTIC ED
I'm shopping for a letter-quality printer to use with my ATARI 800, 810 disk drive and LJK's Letter Perfect. Since I don't own a typewriter, I'm considering an electronic typewriter that could be hooked up to print as well as type. I've looked at Bytewriter, a converted SCM Ultrasonic, and a converted Olivetti Praxis 35. With the interface and cable, any of these will cost about $1000.
I'm comparing this with the SCM daisywheel printer for about $600. I realize that a converted typewriter is not as fast as a printer, but I need some advice.
If your volume is light enough, the typewriter conversions should be alright. However, be aware that you will be using a machine for a purpose other than designed - always risky business, especially when remote from service. With any of these be certain they can be configured for Letter Perfect. --ANTIC ED
AGHAST AT APX
As a professional engineer I want to draw the attention of ANTIC readers and ATARI users to the inaccurate and possibly harmful representation of nuclear power in the game "Melt Down" from APX.
While it may appear to be harmless fun, the possible misunderstanding by young users both of the actual technology and danger of nuclear power is not at all helpful in these times. The nuclear power industry takes great pains to assure truthful dissemination of information about atomic power.
I personally will not purchase APX products until "Melt Down" is removed from its catalog.
William Becker, P.E.
The ATARI 1200XL sounds impressive (ANTIC #6), and I am curious if some of the new features, such as the 14K OS, will be made available for the 400/ 800? If so, would it be necessary or desirable to wire in the new 6502 variation in a 400/ 800 to make use of the 14K OS? Does the new OS support floating decimal routines in a manner similar to the Fast Chip made by Newell Industries? Is it feasible to modify the 800 to improve color saturation as evidently has been done with the 1200XL? Will the speech synthesizer in the works be compatible with 400/ 800 systems? Does Atari have an approximate date of availability set for the speech synthesizer? I have been holding off purchasing a 'voice' for my 800 as I have heard of Atari's intention to market their own model.
Gramma always said, "If you don't know, say so." We don't know, but we'll find out, in a full-scale review of this and other new hardware later this year. --ANTIC ED
ATARI WORD PROCESSOR
I'm having problems with the Atari Word Processor program (version 1.0). As my disk fills up, attempts to back it up using Atari DOS II generate gibberish. The pagination functions also produces strange output. Calls to Atari have not solved the problems. Is anyone else having trouble?
We have not experienced these problems, though we don't use Atari Word Processor much at ANTIC. Atari is coming out with an improved word processing program, called Atari Writer, which we expect to review in the near future. --ANTIC ED
I would like to know the use of the right-hand slot on the ATARI 800.
The right-hand slot is a bay into which properly designed and programmed ROM cartridges can be placed to cause your 800 to do things. There are not many such carts around, but one is Monkey Wrench, by Eastern House. --ANTIC ED
We enjoy BATS very much (ANTIC #5) but had two problems. When a bat eats a poisonous bug "off screen" it dies and falls, but never hits the floor, causing an error that voids the game in progress. We solved that by changing the last statement in line 590 to read IF PEEK (53252)=0 AND YPOS 127 THEN 590
Second, long play triggers "attract mode," some phases of which obscure the bat and insects. Adding this line seems to fix that.
585 POKE 77,0
Los Angeles, CA
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