ANTIC PIX GIFTS
The title of Genesis II reveals the author's view of the ultimate possibilities of computer technology. It presents the relationship between technology and the arts in a compelling way, moving from DeVinci to Warhol to the maker of Star Wars, and explaining how these movers and shakers have embraced or turned away from technology. The author, Dale Peterson, has focused on his favorite American artists, writers, composers, and game designers, and has given their work a forum. An entire chapter is devoted to contemporary visual arts, and features extensive interviews with master computer artist. Another segment covers the history and development of computer games. An eight-page gallery of full-color reproductions includes some of the most famous examples of computer-generated art. Black and white illustrations are also included. Genesis II makes an interesting supplement to Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, which should also have a place on your computer bookshelf. It is available in paperback for $15.95 and Hardcover for $24.95
64K RAM SELECT
Mosaic has been a big hit lately, because of its 64K RAM memory system. Four banks of 4K RAM above the normal 48K limit, are available so you get 48K RAM hard-wired memory, along with 4K RAM banks of software-selectable additional memory, for 52K of RAM continuous and 64K RAM total.
ROM cartridges cannot interfere with SELECT's memory, and it is fully compatible with the 400/800 and all ATARI software and peripherals. The 800 is able to support three of these memory boards, which can upgrade your computer to a whopping 192K. This extra boost of RAM comes in handy for character set or Player/Missile data. Installation of the board involves some simple soldering.
The product is test cycled for 24 hours and carries a four-year guarantee. The board alone is $199.00; a cable connector #1, priced at $29.95, is needed for the first 64K added. ATARI 800 owners who wish to add second or third boards will need a cable connector #2 for each addition. These also cost $29.95.
Koala Technologies Corp.
A Koalapad is not the palm of an Australian tree bear; it is the name of a hand-held touch tablet for the ATARI computers. Draw an image with a finger or stylus, and your picture will appear on the video display. This product's ability to reproduce drawn, traced or written material makes it an enjoyable introduction to the world of computers, since it allows the novice to bypass the keyboard and see results immediately. But the multi-faceted Koalapad is not limited to graphics. It also can be operated as a set of nearly 40 special function keys, with custom overlays for any combination of characters or graphics. Used as a game controller, two firing buttons simulate left and right joystick movement. Software packages for use with Koalapad are available, and one program, a flexible graphics utility, is included with the tablet for $125.00.
Trace Systems, Inc.
The old SoundTrap wasn't big enough for Trace Systems; they have now developed SoundTrap Stretch, a 26" wide, 17" deep version of their original acoustical printer housing. The large surface area permits better sound absorption and reduces noise to an average 44 dba for most 136-column dot-matrix and small daisywheel printers. A "peel-out" slot has been added for bottom-feed printers, and louvers now ventilate the housing. This product sells for $189.00; but for another $49.00, you can get it with power-surge protection outlets, a cooling fan, and a pilot-light power switch. As with the original SoundTrap, Stretch can serve as a document stand, thanks to a tilted lid on which papers can be placed and viewed.
Staring at the old TV screen can become uncomfortable after a while. If you'd like to sharpen things up for those long sessions of programming, you should consider a display monitor from Taxan. It comes with either an amber or green screen, and is especially useful with an 80-column board. Monitors require a "composite video signal" such as that available from the ATARI 800's monitor output jack, and this requires a special cable ($20.00). These monitors feature a 12" diagonal screen and can clearly display 80 characters per line with 24 lines per screen. The standard 4O-character ATARI lines are also crisp and clear. Brightness and contrast controls make it possible to view game programs in shades of green or amber, although the sound is missing. Units are light-weight and solid-state. Price without cable is $279.95 (green), $189.95 (amber).
The Sharper Image
How many years does the average computer buff spend sitting down? Whatever the answer, he or she will sit more comfortably in the seat of a Balans. Though the look of this chair may alarm those who like a back rest, the design supports the back naturally, balances the body, and gives the diaphragm plenty of room to breathe. The Balans is made of laminated beechwood, upholstered with 100% wool fabric. The original chair has a standard seat height and can be made to rock gently; the adjustable model features four positions but does not rock. Both styles can be assembled in minutes. Order item #CWN209 from The Sharper Image, 406 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA 94111. The price is $185.00, plus $9.50 for shipping. Colors are brown for the adjustable model and brown or beige for the original. The Smithsonian Institute has a Balans in its permanent collection, Shouldn't you?
CS 1632 CABINET
Organization is made easy by the CS 1632 computer storage cabinet. You can store a computer, monitor, controllers, software, books and peripherals in this compact, functional unit. The built-in, slide-out shelf is set at standard typing height for comfortable use of the ATARI computers. When the computer is not in operation, the fold-up locking door protects it from accidents, pollutants and undesired handling. Controllers slide upside down into the inverted storage rack. The back center panel contains twist tabs (which neatly bind together and conceal wires), as well as a shelf for unsightly transformers. A slide-out software tray accomodates up to 14 cassettes or cartridges, and 30 diskettes. The dimensions of the cabinet are 36" high x 34" wide x 16" deep. Tools necessary for assembly are a screwdriver and hammer. Tile cabinet is made of simulated woodgrain. State your preference for the finish: golden oak or natural walnut. $89.95 includes shipping fee.
What this country needs is a good five cent printer ribbon. That's almost what you get with MacInker. This handy device automatically re-inks any ribbon (felt, silk, cotton or nylon) for any computer printer that uses cartridges or spools. When the price of ribbon re-inking is five cents, it may make ribbon replacement obsolete. Computer Friends says a ribbon can be re-inked as many as 20 times and still print as well as it did in its youth. Maclnker distributes ink evenly, and the ink contains a special lubricant that improves the life of the print-head. Even the most clumsy of us can easily use this product, as it requires a minimum of effort. When ordering, be sure to specify the printer and model you are using. $54.95 will get you Macinker and a 2 oz. bottle of ink. Include $3.00 for shipping and handling.
SPIDEK PAC AND BLACK MAX
Stop tripping over tangles or cords and power strips! Spider Pac, designed for Atari computers and peripherals, is an alternative to the jumble of transformers you are currently using. It sports a row of five 9-VAC outlets for use with its five detachable patch cords, as well as three 120-VAC outlets for products that can use household current. Other features include 15-amp circuit breaker, illuminated on/off switch, spike protection, EMI filtration, and RFI filtration. Spider Pac's cousin, Black Max, is a six-outlet spike filter that includes the two previously mentioned filtrations and a mounting bracket. A remote on/off switch plugs into the back of Black Max. The switch comes with eight feet of 14-gauge wire so it can be installed at a convient spot. Reduced for this holiday season, Black Max costs $124.95, while Spider Pac sells for $134.95, Available from Compu-Tech, P.O. Box 5058, Glendale, AZ. 85306.
If you have been searching for an inexpensive, reliable, 300-baud originate/Answer modem, consider the Volks modem. Five different cables are available to connect it to almost any computer or terminal, making this modem compatible with most other systems on the marker. A hybrid of the direct/connect and acoustic modems, this one has no cups, yet allows the user to monitor line status through the telephone. All regular terminal communications software are appropriate tor use with the Volksmodem; however, we use Teletalk by DataSoft for ANTIC's data communications. Volksmodem includes a full and half-duplex svitch,a voice/data switch, and a lifetime warranty. Its state-of-the-art technology also results in a lower power drain than former Anchor modems. $79.95 is the price for the modem; $12.95.9S for each cable. As a bonus, a subscription to The Source (worth $120.00) is included in the cost of the modem.