Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 3, NO. 11 / MARCH 1985




You can become an active member of the largest Atari users group in the world-and have immediate access to a huge library of public domain software!  It doesn't matter where you live.  All you need to do is pick up your phone and dial CompuServe's Atari Special Interest Group (SIG).
  Over 6,000 Atari owners use the Atari SIG.  You can communicate online with any of them.  You can also access Antic's Electronic Edition from the SIG menu. (Or log on directly by typing GO ANTIC after the SIG function prompt.)
  Antic on CompuServe brings you Atari news just as soon as it happens, a product review library, an open channel to Antic editors, excerpts of important articles and a look at upcoming magazine features.

The Atari SIG has three sections:

  •  Message Exchange for electronic mail.
  •  Conference Area with 36 "CB" channels.
  •  Reference Library with more than a megabyte of downloadable public domain programs and information files.
  It takes six system operators (sysops) to keep everything going.
  To join in, you need a CompuServe membership, your computer and phone line, a modem with telecommunications software.
  For information on becoming a CompuServe member, see your local computer dealer or call (800) 848-8199.  In Ohio call (614) 457-0802.  Access to services such as the Atari SIG at a standard 300 baud rate will cost you $6 per hour during the evening.

And once you're on CompuServe, you can download hundreds of software titles-games, utilities, education, graphics and telecommunication programs.
  One of the first on-line programs that you'll want to download is Tscope.  Many of the other CompuServe programs can't be downloaded without it.  Tscope also lets you view weather maps, stock charts and other graphics available on CompuServe. (Tscope is also available along with the excellent Amodem telecommunications program on an Antic public domain disk.)

Once you've received your CompuServe Information Service (CIS) password, loaded your modem software and dialed the local CIS access number, you'll be ready to go.
  Type [CONTROL] [C] and CompuServe will ask you for your personal identification number (PPN).  Once you've entered your number correctly and pressed [RETURN], you'll be asked for your password.  You will not see the characters you type for your password.  This is a security measure to keep others from stealing your password.
  Once CIS has received a valid password, you'll see an options. menu.  You can go to the Atari SIG by typing GO PCS132.
  The first time you enter the Atari SIG, you will be asked if you wish to become a member.  There is no additional charge for membership so type M. Welcome to the group!
  Do yourself a favor and read the New Member Information and Help files.  There are quite a few commands and these take a while to get used to.  But you can always get help by typing a question mark or the word HELP.

You can also get information on any Atari-related subject from users anywhere in the country, or from the sysops by simply leaving a message.
  Often, a message left overnight will surprise you-a simple request for programming help will produce a fantastic thread of responses from other interested Atari owners across the country.  It's all there waiting for you at your next log-on!
  Type [L] to leave a message.  A prompt for the name and PPN of the intended recipient appears as TO.  To leave an open message to all members, type ALL, or to reach a sysop, type SYSOP.
  The rest is straightforward.  You'll be asked for a subject phrase before you type in the message.
  You can then type your message using a simple word processing editor with special commands.  But for now, just type as many as 80 characters for each prenumbered line and press [RETURN).  When your message is complete, press [RETURN] a second time.
  You must now Save the message with an S# command.  Instead of [#] you type the appropriate section number.  Section numbers are used in the Message Area and Downloading Library to indicate subjects as follows:
0 General
1 GAMES & "T.L.S."
2 Telecommunications
3 Utilities/Applications
4 Sound & Graphics
5 Education
6 SIG* Soapbox
8 SIG V.I.P. access

QS   Quick Scan of message topics
B      Bulletin reading
MI    Membership Information
OP    SIG Option changes
I        SIG command Information
M      Return to preview Menu
T       Return to Top menu
V      View membership interest file
OFF   Log Off CIS
CO     Access SIG Conference Area

Once you are in the Conference Area, you must use special commands that begin with a [/].  For help, type /HELP or to exit, type /EX.
  To access the Reference Library for downloading programs, type XA#.  Again,. type in your desired section number instead of [#].
  Uploading and Downloading can be a bit tricky so type [?] for help and read the help files carefully.
  Once you're on the system, feel free to leave a message for Antic.  Or chat with any of the sysops listed below:
Ron Luks                    76703,254
Michael Reichmann      74015,1534
Steve Ahlstrom            70007,1657
Richard Brudzynski      74035,1550
Russ Wetmore             72435,1234
Greg Leslie                  71565,235

Jerry White is a contributing editor to Antic and a leading professional Programmer of Atari software.