HANDLING YOUR RS-232
I have a serial RS-232 printer connected to the Atari 850 interface box. It works fine when I'm writing in BASIC, but when using software that expects a parallel printer port, of course it doesn't work. Is it possible to POKE the location where the printer handler, is, redrecting it to the location of the RS-232 handler? Where is the RS-232 handler kept?
The RS-232 handler isn't resident in the Atari OS-it must be loaded from disk.- turn on the 850 interface, then boot from the Atari DOS Master Disk or from a disk containing the AUTORUN.SYS file (from the Master Disk). This loads the RS-232 handler and adds its address to the handler table. Then simply use the RS-232 port as another I/O channel First, OPEN #1,8,0,"Rl:", then use PRINT #l or PUT #l to send data to the port. Finally, CLOSE #1. Of course, this can only be used to modify BASIC programs that use the printer
Modifying machine language programs that use printers, such as LJK's Letter Perfect requires extensive technical expertise and probably wouldn't be worth the trouble. As far as we know, the only commercial word processing program for the Atari using the RS-232 port is Atari's own Atariwriter. Choose SAVE from the main menu, then type R1: at the prompt for device and file name. If you use Atariwriter without a disk drive, the RS-232 handler is automatically booted if the 850 is turned on and connected before the computer is turned on. -ANTIC ED
I am 14 years old and am the proud owner of an Atari 800. Is it possible for me to write an article for Antic and for you to then publish it?
We always encourage readers, of all ages, to submit material for publication. Of course, we reserve the right to decide whether or not to use a submission. If you would like more information, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Antic, requesting our Author's Guide. -ANTIC ED
A VOTE FOR BASIC XL
The members of the Westmoreland Atari Computer Organization believe that BASIC XL, from Optimized Systems Software (OSS), is the best programming language for the Atari computer. We feel it is the ideal language to be built into the forthcoming Atari 1450 XLD computer. We have written letters suggesting this to James Morgan, Atari's chairman, and Bill Wilkinson of OSS. Consumer Reports recently rated Atari as its top choice among home computers, but blasted Atari BASIC as one of the main reasons home computers aren't taken more seriously. Atari is letting a golden opportunity slip by if it doesn't market BASIC XL as an extended BASIC.
George J. Adamson
North Huntington, PA
We agree that BASIC XL is an excellent version of BASIC. We'd like to point out, however, that Atari currently markets Microsoft BASIC II, a cartridge-based extended BASIC. By the way, George is a frequent contributor to Antic. -ANTIC ED
MORE FROM MORI
I have written a graphics program in mode 7, called "Three-Color Demo." I hope you enjoy this:
10 GRAPHICS 7+16:COLOR 1 20 FOR T=l TO 159 STEP 5 30 PLOT T,0:DRAWTO 159,44:DRAWTO T,89:PLOT 159-T,0:DRAWTO 0,44:DRAWTO 159-T,89 40 NEXT T 50 COLOR 2 60 FOR I=l TO 30 STEP 3 70 PLOT 79+I,44:DRAWTO 79,74-I:DRAWTO 79-I,44:DRAWTO 79,14+I:DRAWTO 79+I,44 80 NEXT I 90 PLOT 79,0:DRAWTO 79,14:PLOT 79,89:DRAWTO 79.74:PLOT 0,44:DRAWTO 79,44:PLOT 159,44:DRAWTO 79,44 100 COLOR 3 110 FOR I=l TO 89 STEP 2 120 PLOT I,O:DRAWTO 159,I:DRAWTO 159-I,89:DRAWTO 0,89-I:DRAWTO I,O 130 PLOT 159-I,0:DRAWTO 0,I:DRAWTO I,89:DRAWTO 159,89-I:DRAWTO 159-I,0 140 NEXT I 150 REM ATARI LOGO MARK 160 COLOR 2 170 FOR I=0 TO 89 l80 PLOT 0,I:DRAWTO 159,I 190 NEXT I COLOR 0 200 FOR I=30 TO 60 STEP 2 210 PLOT 68,I:DRAWTO 72,I:PLOT 76,I:DRAWTO 78,I:PLOT 82,I:DRAWTO 86,I 220 NEXT I 230 FOR I=60 TO 70 STEP 2:Q=Q+2 240 PLOT 68-Q,I:DRAWTO 72-Q,I:PLOT 76,I:DRAWTO 78,I:PLOT 82+Q,I:DRAWTO 86+Q,I 250 NEXT I 260 GOTO 260
Listing: THREECOL.BAS Download
TRACE TROUBLE REVISITED
This is an answer to a question posed by Paul Mattia in June I/O Board, entitled "Trace Trouble" The problem has been documented by Bill Wilkinson of Optimized Systems Software. If you use the CPY#xxx instruction and try to trace the program using the Assembler/Editor cartridge in the debugger mode, the trace aborts. There is no solution for this problem. The best thing to do is not to use CPY#, but use CPX# instead. Try this: Instead of using CPY#$l0, use
CNSTNT BYTE $10
This will solve the problem.
Prior to buying my new system (including computer, disk drive, interface module, printer, and color monitor) in Canada to use in Israel, many people, including Atari salesmen, said the system wouldn't work with Israel's 220-volt, 50-Hz electricity supply, (the same system used throughout Europe) I'm delighted to report that, with the use of a simple stepdown transformer (220 to 110 volts), my system works perfectly.
Readers should note that Mr Euphraty bought his monitor at the same time as the rest of his system. A computer manufactured for the North American market is not compatible with European standard of television signal transmission. -ANTIC ED
CASSETTE AUTO BOOT?
I'm building an alarm system and would like to have a fully automatic boot capability for my 48K Atari 400 and cassette drive, instead of having to leave the unit on and programmed. When nobody is home, there's no one to press the Off-Start-Return sequence. Any help in this area?
As far as we know, there's no way to automate booting an Atari cassette system. If there's nobody around to start the system, why not turn it on when you leave, for greater security? -ANTIC ED
KUDOS AND QUESTIONS
Hats off to the finest Atari-oriented magazine! The games are outstanding! Keep up the good work. Superb graphics are tops on the list, too.
Will Roadrace and GTIA Sketchpad work on the unexpanded (16K) Atari 600XL?
Thanks for the kind words! We will continue to bring you the best games and graphics. Neither of the two programs you mentioned will work on the unexpanded 600 XL. -ANTIC ED
ATARI SOLD TO TRAMIEL
Just as this issue of Antic was going to press, the news came that Atari's computer and videogame divisions were sold by Warner Communications to a new Hong Kong-based company headed by jack Tramiel, the tough, hard-driving ex-president of Commodore computers.
Tramiel (pronounced tra-mel) was already operating Atari's Sunnyvale headquarters the day the announcement was made. He promptly issued a statement that his goal was to make Atari "number one-nothing less."
Talk like that must be taken seriously when it comes from Jack Tramiel-the man who sold more home computers than anybody else in history, and who is famous for consistently cutting prices below the competition.
Our sources tell us that Tramiel showed up in Sunnyvale with a complete plan for obtaining all components of the 800XL computer at lower cost. Now that Atari's overhead has been cut so drastically, Antic believes that the 800XL will be not only the best-but also the most affordable-64K computer on the market this Christmas.
We think the chances are good that over the next few months Atari will emerge as the Chrysler of high-tech, the biggest comeback story in the history of the computer industry.
Whatever happens, Antic will continue to be the Number One source of information and guidance for all Atari computer owners. We'll have a lot more details for you in our next issue. And we'll especially be looking for the latest news on how you can get any Atari customer service problems taken care of.
Finally, here's a call to APX program authors, all Atari software developers and third-party hardware vendors. If you're looking for a way to market your products directly, phone Gary Yost at Antic right away. We may be able to help you ...