THE ANTICS OF SLYVESTER BIFFDROP
This amounts to a fan letter for J. D. Casten. Escape from Epsilon and Risky Rescue are exceptionally challenging! One of the difficulties with Escape is the game only utilizes the right and left positions of the joystick. If a diagonal is accidentally selected, Slyvester Biffdrop stops running and usually dies. A little change will keep him running if the joystick is pushed into the diagonal positions. Look at line 120 in the program. Replace the first part of the line, which reads IF ST=247 with IF ST>244 AND ST<248. (The rest of the line continues unchanged.
Similary, change line125 from IF ST= 251 to read IF ST>248 AND ST<252 (continue with the rest of line).
Panama City, FL
Just a word or two about your magazine. I've subscribed for over a year, ever since I purchased my Atari. Without your help I would not have been able to put together the economical system that I have in my home, including the Atari 800, Gemini 10X, Ape-face, and the Indus disk drive.
Your reviews have allowed me to obtain the best buys on the market in hardware and software. In my area of Middle Georgia, there are no computer dealers where a hands-on test of products is possible, so it's vital that there is a reliable magazine such as Antic to give the low down on the latest software and hardware. Keep up the good work, and thank you.
Warner Robins, GA
Why don't you have your public domain software available on disk/cassette?
We do! We have 14 disks and four cassette selections available, covering games, utilities, graphics and music. Also, each issue of Antic is now available prepackaged with a disk. For details, see the Antic Software Library page in this issue. -ANTIC ED
DATA ABOUT DATA FILES
I've received a great deal of help from Antic with database programming. Now I'd like to use random-access data files with Microsoft BASIC, but I'm having trouble finding information.
Atari Microsoft BASIC uses a NOTE command for random access, the function of which is identical to that of the Atari BASIC's NOTE. However, MSB uses PRINT AT instead of POINT. See the MSB manual's discussion of NOTE and AT, and Jerry White's article "Update Disks With NOTE and POINT," (Antic, April 1984). You'll have to revise Jerry's program somewhat to be compatible with MSB. -ANTIC ED
GRAPHICS 9 DEMO
Greetings from Berlin! This short program is a demonstration of the Atari Graphics 9 mode.
10 GRAPHICS 9:SETCOLOR 4,1
20 FOR AS=55 TO 0 STEP -S:
FOR B=0 TO 24:C=B
30 IF B>11 THEN C=24-B:C=C
60 PLOT Z,AS+7-D
70 DRAWTO Z,AS+7+D:COLOR C
80 DRAWTO B,180-AS+3:NEXT
90 GOTO 90
Fed. Rep. of Germany
Listing: TUBES.BAS Download
I have an Okidata Microline 82-A printer with an Atari 800. I am unable to print inverse characters or dump graphics and charts to the printer. I was told by the former Okidata dealer that I had the wrong computer and "Welcome to the computer world." Is there any help for me, or do I need different equipment?
Santa Cruz, CA
Most dot-matrix printers require special software, such as Lister-Plus, Megafont, or PrintWiz to print hard copy of the Atari inverse and special characters because Atari provides more characters than other computers, not because you have the wrong computer
According to Okidata, their Microline 82-A, as sold, does not come with the necessary graphics equipment for a special character or screen dump. For $49, however, you can purchase the Okigraph 1 from Okidata. This is a set of chips which, when plugged into your printer, will allow it to handle dot-addressable graphics. We were warned, however, that in the 82-A, unlike the Gemini 10X or Epson FX-80, the Least Significant Bit fires the top pin on the Okidata, whereas the Most Significant Bit does the same on the Gemini and Epson. Also, the printer codes are different, so you might want to contact the makers of the software mentioned above and hear what they have to say. -ANTIC ED
CASSETTE AUTO BOOT
I have an answer to Eddie Leach's problem in the September 1984 issue
of Antic, "Cassette Auto Boot?" He needed a fully automatic boot capability
for his 48K Atari 400 for an alarm system he was building.
Add these two lines to your program, and use a GOTO 32750 to boot your cassette.
32750 RESTORE 32760:CLR
32755 DIM X$(40):POKE 764,
32:FOR X=l TO 19:READ Y:X$
32760 DATA 162,253,154,169
DOS AND ATARIWRITER
Here's a discovery for readers that have a disk drive with OSS DOS XL 2.2 or 2.3 and use Atariwriter. I've found that you cannot use this DOS with this word processor. To fix this incompability problem, delete the file called STARTUP.EXC.
A BASIC DIRECTORY
I have used my Atari for four years and I've devised a simple way to get the directory from the disk in BASIC. Go to DOS and type
DIM N$(15):CLOSE #5:OPEN #
5,6,0,"D:*.*":FOR I=1 TO 6
4:INPUT #5,N$:? N$:NEXT I:
CLOSE$ #5 [RETURN]
Then, in BASIC, type
This will also generate an Error 136, which can be ignored, and will give you the directory.
I'm sure a lot of your readers will like this very short but useful utility
Van Nuys, CA
In the August I/O Board we printed a request for a blinking cursor routine ("Grab Bag"). Our thanks to everyone who contributed to the subsequent torrent of letters and routines. All but one of these manipulated address 755 which caused the cursor and all inverse characters to blink. The remaining program blinked only the cursor, but required several keystrokes before the blinking began. Please see Jerry White's "Create your own cursor" in this issue for a useful blinking cursor.
Another request sought a cursor redefined as an ATASCII number. Below is Alan Budelier's solution. -ANTIC ED
0 ASCII=42:REM ASCII CHARA
10 DATA 165,107,240,3,76,9
20 DATA 160,0,165,206,145,
30 FOR I=1536 TO 1572:READ
A:POKE I,A:NEXT I:POKE 54
266,0:POKE 548,0:POKE 549,
40 IF ASCII<32 THEN ASCII=
50 IF ASCII<96 AND ASCII>=
32 THEN ASCII=ASCII-32
60 POKE 206,ASCII
Listing: BLKGCRSR.BAS Download
I've been programming with Action! for a few months now and wrote the following demonstration program, which shows the speed of the Action! language. This routine puts three thick bars on the screen. They will rotate upward in 128 unbroken colors while the background colors move down.
Try running this in a dark room for best results. This might be just the thing to show the kid down the street with his brand new Apple IIc. But don't forget to remind him that his jaw is on the floor.
PROC PRETTY() DEFINE KEY="PEEK(764)<255" CARD SC BYTE WSYNC=$D40A, VERTCNT=$D40B, COLOR0=$D01A, COLOR1=$D018, COUNTER, CHGCOLOR, UPCOLOR, I, LOOP, DOWNCOLOR GRAPHICS(23) POKE(764,255) SC=PEEKC(88) SETBLOCK(SC+75*40,40*20,255) SETBLOCK(SC+37*40,40*20,255) SETBLOCK(SC,40*20,255) DO FOR COUNTER=1 TO 9 DO UPCOLOR=CHGCOLOR DOWNCOLOR=CHGCOLOR DO WSYNC=0 COLOR0=DOWNCOLOR COLOR1=UPCOLOR UPCOLOR==+1 DOWNCOLOR==-1 UNTIL VERTCNT&$80 OD OD CHGCOLOR==+1 UNTIL KEY OD RETURN
Coos Bay, OR
I'd appreciate any keyboard reprogramming suggestions to make it easier for one-handed persons to use the Atari 800 and 80OXL. Specifically we'd like to simplify commands where two keys must be depressed at the same time-such as CONTROL and cursor keys.
A.B. Fox, Jr., Principal
This short program, called "brainwash," contains eight FOR/NEXT loops.
6 FOR 5=0 TO 15
10 GRAPHICS 18:POSITION 7,
20 FOR ZZZ=0 TO D:NEXT ZZZ
:FOR A=0 TO E:POKE 710,RND
30 SOUND 0,10,10,8:FOR B=0
TO P+5:NEXT B:SOUND 0,55,
10,12:FOR B=0 TO P+5:NEXT
33 FOR C=0 TO R
35 GRAPHICS 23:COLOR RND(0
)*3:PLOT 0,0:DRAWTO 156,0:
DRAWTO 156,94:DRAWTO 0,94:
DRAWTO 0,0:DRAWTO 156,94
40 DRAWTO 156,0:DRAWTO 0,9
45 FOR ZZZ=0 TO D:NEHT ZZZ
50 NEXT S
100 SOUND 0,0,0,0:GRAPHICS
18:POSITION 7,5:? #6;"WHO
110 FOR G=0 TO 1000:NEXT G
Listing: BRAINWSH.BAS Download
FOR SIMPLICITY'S SAKE
I enjoyed Mr. Wilcox's article on Boolean logic (August 1984). The article suggests a problem that has bothered me for some time.
I have programmed computers and taught computing for over 20 years. I've noticed that too many programmers use their programs to satisfy the needs of their own egos and not the needs of the people that are intended to use the programs. They use their programs as a means of showing their skills of inventiveness instead of thorough thoughtfulness. Generally, the job does not get done in the simplest method.
Referring to the example near the end of "Logic According to Boole," Mr. Wilcox indicated that "the resulting code is more difficult to debug." He did not mention, however, that the enhanced code took 33 more bytes than the "IF ... THEN" version nor that it took 16 jiffies (one jiffy is about one sixtieth of a second) to cycle through the six conditions as opposed to seven jiffies for the simpler, more understandable method.
As hobbyists or programmers, we must remember that in the long run the simplest programming methods will have the most staying power.
How delighted we, of ROM Magazine, were to meet you and your staff. It was most kind of you to take the time from your obviously hectic C.E.S. schedule to stop at the ROM booth.
Bob and Peter hold the publication of Antic insuch high esteem and believe me, your visit to ROM's booth was the highlight of their C.E.S. trip.
Mrs. T.G. Cockroft
Maple Ridge, Canada
Thanks for the visit and the kind words. Best wishes from the Antic Staff. -ANTIC ED
COUNTING ON BANK STREET WRITER
I am a freelance writer using an Atari 800 and Bank Street Writer (Broderbund). How can I get a program to count words accurately? How much will it cost?
North Little Rock, AR
As far as we know, there is no commercial word-count program for Bank Street Writer However, we wrote a short, fairly accurate BASIC program to do this, and it won't cost you a cent. Replace SAMPLE in line 10 with the name of your text file.
10 OPEN #1,4,0,"D:SAMPLE"
20 TRAP 100
30 GET #1,B
40 IF B<>32 and B<>142 THEN 30
50 GET #1,B:IF B=32 OR B=155 THEN 50
70 GOTO 30
100 PRINT "Word Count = ";COUNT
I am planning to buy a printer, but have not found one that is XL compatible and usable with Atariwriter. It has to be tractor feed, letter quality and relatively sturdy. Any ideas?
Watch for our upcoming printer issue. There will find all of your questions about printers, compatibility, buffers and screen dump programs answered. -ANTIC ED
I would like to thank you for the International Issue in March. After reading your magazine I wrote to Emanuel Sellner of Austria featured in that last issue. Now he and I are pen-pals. Now we've traded lots of games with each other. I hope all readers can get to know each other.
San Francisco, CA
After reading "Listening for Error Messages" in the I/O Board (Antic, August 1984), I decided to try to answer the request of a nameless programmer who is without sight. I admire the courage required to attempt using a computer without the aid of eyesight.
I've written a machine language routine that produces a steady beeping sound and monitors two key locations used by BASIC to handle errors-locations 166 and 185 (decimal). If an error occurs, the beeping lowers in tone. If the error takes place while a program is running, the tone is raised to its former pitch with one press of the combination of a shift key and the space bar, followed by [RETURN]. If the error occurs in the immediate mode, however, the previous combination must be entered twice to restore the pitch.
Thank you, Fred. We've passed your solution on to the person who requested it. -ANTIC ED