Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 2, NO. 9 / DECEMBER 1983



I would like to know how to redefine the Atari character set in BASIC. Also, I'd like to know if you can assign characters to keys like Control-1.

David Cameron
Pittsburgh, PA

See John and Mary Harrison's article in this issue ("Odd Man Reforms"). Some keys used for control functions, like Control-2, have a printable ASCII character associated with them, but others do not. There is no way to assign characters to Control-2 (screen display stop-start toggle) or Control-3 (end-of-file indicator). Similarly, the [RETURN] key is represented by ATASCII 155, but this is also a non-printable character. --ANTIC ED


We are in the market for a single/double (density) disk drive for our Atari 800. We would like help in comparing features and finding out which drives will be compatible with the upcoming DOS 3.O. Also, we have heard mention of a new Microsoft BASIC II. Are programs written for the original Microsoft BASIC compatible with the new version?

Len and Ann Clark
Corry, PA

The only drive on which you can use the "dual density" capability of DOS 3.0 is the Atari 1050. And yes, programs wriiten for the original Microsoft BASIC are compatible with the new version. By the way, "Mission Redux: Disk Drive Daze" in this issue reviews a number of disk drives with respect to their usefulness in professional programming applications. Stay tuned for further information on disk drives in upcoming issues. --ANTIC ED


Help! Is there anyone out there selling tax preparation programs suited to the needs of individual taxpayers? I'm looking for a program with some flexibility - one that includes only the tax forms you need, and that can be esssily expanded. Such a program's usefulness would certainly justify its cost.

On another subject, is it possible for you to furnish an explanation of your TYPO table?

Ernest Spenard
Biddeford, ME

See "TYPO Revisited" (ANTIC, page 116, April 1983). A free copy of this article can be obtained by sending a self- addressed, stamped envelope to ANTIC. Also, watch for a survey of home financial programs in our February issue -- ANTIC ED


I'm fifteen years old and an Atari 400 owner. I think it's the best home computer on the market for the price. I also like the TRS-80 Model III's "auto line number function." so I created the following short program that does the same thing, and lists the last line entered.

1 DIM A$(120)
3 NUM=20
4 ? NUM;" ";
5 POKE 710,0
10 A$'"":OPEN #2,4,0,"K:"
11 GET #2,A:IF A=155 THEN CLOSE #2:GOTO 14
12 ? CHR$(A);
13 A$(LEN(A$)+1)=CHR$(A):GOTO 11
14 POKE 709,0
15 ? "inverse arrow":?:? NUM;A$:? :? "3NUM=";NUM+10:? :? "CONT":POSITION 0,0:POKE 842,13:STOP
16 POKE 842,12:POKE 709,158
17 ?"inverse arrow":GOTO 2

To run the program that this program helps enter in, type the following line and RUN:

0 GOTO 20

Dean K. Beers, Jr.
Passadumkeag, ME


I'm trying to set up a simple accounting system using my 800 (with 48K), an Epson printer and VisiCalc, but I keep running out of memory! Would expanding to 64K be a good idea! Also, can I get an 80-column display on my color TV screen with the Bit3 package!

T.R. Rolfes
Wyoming, OH

Atari and VisiCalc are excellent partners for serious applications. Atari advises, however, that a 64K bank-select memory expansion board will add only 4K of usable memory for VisiCalc. The Bit3 board is good, but will only work (80-column mode) with a monochrome monitor. We use this package ourselves, and it has served us well. See "ANTIC Pix Gifts," (ANTIC, Nov. 83) for monitor suggestions, and watch for an integrated calc package from Synapse Software. -- ANTIC ED


Having been a magazine buff for some time, I was very pleased to run across your publication in the computer store. I subscribe to such diverse magazines as Forbes, Business Week, Discover, Popular Science, Bicycling and Personal Computing, but I've never read a magazine before that has consistently carried so many interesting articles on its particular area of coverage. I commend you for a job well done.

Christopher Wilson
Kernersville, NC


I'm puzzled by the fact that no one has written in about software that has problems running with the Mosaic 64K RAM card. When used with the card, Wayout by Sirius, for example, displays one-and-a-half mazes. The fix for this is to boot up with the BASIC cartridge installed. Similarly, ValFORTH Video Editor 1.1 doesn't work when you issue the V command (when used with the Mosaic card); this causes the screen to go crazy. The solution is to warm start. As far as I can tell, everything Works fine after that, with the possible exception of SMOVE. I'd be interested in hearing from other readers who have experienced software problems with the Mosaic board.

Robert Kanach
Norristown, PA


There is a simple program that turns the top two rows of the Atari keyboard into a piano keyboard (C scale) with the TAB = low C. The space bar clears the sound.

40 IF KEY<>PEEK(764) THEN 30
60 SOUND 0,PITCH,10,6:GOTO 20
70 DATA 44,243,31,230,47,217,30,204,46,193,42,102,24,173,40,162,29,153
80 DATA 45,144,27,136,43,128,11,121,53,114,13,108,48,102,8,96,10,91,54,85
90 DATA 14,81,55,76,15,72,52,68,12,64,33,0,-1,0

Robert Ende
Commack, NY


Can an ATARI 400 be programmed to understand COBOL?

Steve and Brinda Smith
Channelview, TX

Not really. COBOL is designed for use on mainframe computers. It is best suited for file manipulation and data base uses, and is often used in the data processing centers of banks and insurance companies. COBOL is not suited for home and personal computing, and although the ATARI can be made to understand the language, it is not worth the effort. -- ANTIC ED


I'm looking for an all-purpose joystick move routine for Player/Missile graphics. Ideally, this routine would let you use different numbers and resolutions of players or missiles, and would provide a way to change their sizes. Also, response to the joystick movement should be fast and smooth. Finally, you should be able to use your own data for the player images.

David Williams
Danville, IL

See "Player/Missle Tutorial" (ANTIC, page 14, September 1983). We feel that this article was an excellent introduction to the subject. Further articles on Player/Missle graphics are on the drawing board. --ANTIC ED


I want to congratulate you on "Computers in Education" (ANTIC, September 1983) by John and Mary Harrison. I can't think of any change or addition to your magazine that would increase its value as much as a renewed commitment to education. My original reason for purchasing the Atari 400 was to introduce my children to the world of the microcomputer, and I feel there is still a tremendous need for information about the educational aspects of the Atari. Anything you can do to fill this void would be invaluable.

Steve Ottinger
Martinsburg, WV

Thanks for the kind words. Any suggestions for our Education Department are most welcome. -ANTIC ED


I liked the pictures in the ANTIC Cover Art Contest (August, 1983). Are these (and other) pictures going to be available to ANTIC readers?

Jim Di Napoli
Vernon Hills, IL

Not on media at this time. Most require commercial programs to load in your computer. -ANTIC ED