GRAPHICS HARDWARE QUESTIONS
I found your magazine invaluable while I was learning BASIC, and I now find your utilities excellent and easy to use. I have some questions I hope you can answer. Are there digitizing cameras available for the Atari? Does the Atari light pen software work with other brand light pens?
We know of no digitizing cameras for the Atari. Atari's light pen software does work with other pens. If the light pen does not have a button, use the [OPTION] key.
BUYING SOFTWARE ABROAD
I am an Atari owner living in Hamburg, West Germany. I wondered what I must do to buy any software from the United States via air mail? What method of payment is preferred? Also, are there software compatibility problems with the different hardware standards (particularly with TVs)?
Fed. Rep. of Germany
There is no set answer, as different companies have different policies. It's best to contact individual companies.
UNDERLINING WITH ATARI
I'm using my Atari 80OXL, 1027 printer and AtariWriter to write my microbiology thesis, but I can't get the printer and computer to underline.
To underline with the equipment you have, try holding the [CONTROL] key while Pressing the [O] to start underlining. Then type 15, then the words you want underlined. To stop underlining, type the [CONTROL][O] combination again, then 14. -ANTIC ED
Is there a way to load, save and dump pictures made with Koala Pad or MicroPainter? I am trying to dump pictures to an Epson MX-80 printer.
North Hollywood, CA
In January 1984, we published a program called "Screen Dump" which was designed for the Epson FX-80, but could be adapted for a Gemini 10-X by changing the value of CHR$(24) in line 120 to CHR$(16). "Screen Dump" was written to dump MicroPainter pictures to the printer, but also accepts uncompacted MicroIllustrator files. These are obtained by pressing the [INSERT] key, which will save your screen picture to disk under the filename PICTURE. (Press [CLEAR] to load any file called PICTURE.) Since Micro Illustrator is the software used by Koala Pad, Atari Touch Tablet and Tech Sketch Light Pen, you can use "Screen Dump" for any of these programs. We don't have the time or the equipment to customize screen dump programs for every printer on the market. If you have customized the "Screen Dump" program for some other printer, send us the changes and, if they're short enough for I/O BOARD, We'll publish them.
I have an Atari 410 Cassette recorder with problems and am in need of a schematic. Could you please direct me to a source for service or information.
Look for a list of Atari service centers across the country in our January, 1985 issue, on sale December 1. -ANTIC ED
AN IMPORTANT REMINDER
I'm MAD!!! I just lost 60 valuable subroutines to an inferior quality disk. That's not all. I don't have a back-up disk. I should have made one.
Please take my advice-invest in quality disks, always purchase from authorized dealers, and read the warranty. And most importantly, ALWAYS make a back-up disk.
PILOT PLOTS DOTS
I have added four lines of code to "Telling Time in Pilot" in Antic (Sept., 1984). This makes it easier for beginners by adding dots around the clock face at the five minute intervals.
72 GR:PEN YELLOW; GOTO 0,0;
TURNTO #Y;GO 23
APING YOUR GRAPHICS DUMPS
I have an Atari 800, an Atari 1020 plotter and a BMC dot matrix printer. Is there any way for me to dump my Atari Touch Tablet screens to my printer or plotter? I'm using the Ape-Face Interface and I've been told this could make a difference.
After trying a few graphics programs on our in-house Ape-Face, we found it would not allow graphics dumps. We contacted Digital Devices, the manufacturer, and were told that their earlier releases had problems with graphics dumps, but that the newer ones should work on most software. You can tell which version you have by unfastening the four screws which bold the box together and looking at the chips. If you find three chips and one of them has NEC printed on it, you have the early model and should contact Digital Devices for an exchange. If your Ape-face is still within its one year warranty, you can exchange it for a new one with no charge. If you're outside the warranty period, contact Digital Devices anyway and see what they say. You can reach them at (800) 554-4898. -ANTIC ED
Yes, the new Atari is supporting the Learning Phone cartridge, used to hook up to Control Data's Plato System. Look for the cartridge at your favorite retailer's by the end of January. Overseas manufacturing won't have it back in time for Christmas, we hear -ANTIC ED
We at ASTRA Systems appreciate your recent review (August, 1984) of our 1620 drive. Since then, the 1620 has been equipped with rotary-latch doors which are easier to use and easier on disks. Additionally, the DOS we now supply is SMARTDOS.
Plant Manager, ASTRA
Santa Ana, CA
BUGS IN THE ASSEMBLER
A curious bug in Atari's Macro Assembler/ Editor (AMAC) lets you make a copy of the disk itself or of individual files via DOS, but fails to boot on the backup disk. This means you can't make a backup copy. Also, the assembler can't reside on the same disk as files to be assembled, since the original is write-protected. As a result, you have to re-insert the master disk every time you do an assembly.
Solution: use DOS to copy the file AMAC to a backup disk. Then run the following program (you can execute it directly, by typing it in without a line number).
10 OPEN #1,12,0:"D:AMAC":
FOR I=1 TO 8: GET #1,A:NEXT 1:
PUT #1,208:PUT #1,34:CLOSE #1
This changes two bytes in the duplicate program, allowing it to run
normally James Tunnicliffe
STARTING A BBS
I want a hands-free bulletin board system that can be up for 24-hours a day. I am planning to buy a modem and 850 interface, and need to know what else I must have to start a BBS.
West Pittsburg, PA
Starting a BBS is not difficult. Maintaining a BBS takes time, dedication and money, but it is very rewarding. Please see the Communication department in this and upcoming issues, where we will be discussing the running of bulletin boards. -ANTIC ED
OF APPLES AND ATARIS
Your "Electronic Notebook" (July 1984) was written before the release of the Apple IIc. It's easy to get the Apple and Atari 850 interface to talk to each other. Here's the wiring diagram for connecting the serial port on the Apple IIc (port 2) to port 1 on the Atari 850 interface.
Apple IIc Atari 850
PIN 1 6
PIN 2 4
PIN 3 5
PIN 4 3
PIN 5 8
Pin 5 to 8 doesn't matter for the computer hook-up but is used with
a modem. For software, I used a modified version of AMODEM on the
Atari and ASCII EXPRESS on my Apple. Standard AMODEM will work fine.
DINOSAUR OR MICROCHIP GEM?
Do I have a dinosaur in my home? I recently purchased an Atari 1200XL at a clearance sale. Since then, I've had trouble getting information about the Atari. I have high hopes for this plastic and microchip gem, but I am afraid you're my last resource for information. The toll-free number you used to publish is disconnected. Salesmen try selling me a Commodore or Apple, telling me the Atari is extinct.
In light of my predicament, I appeal to you for aid and comfort. Tell me what I have here, and where to get books, cartridges and information on the 1200XL.
Ft. Benning, GA
Fortunately, you won't need a paleontology background to use your Atari-it's still alive and evolving!!! You can get the Atari BASIC cartridge and most anything else you'll need for your 1200XL from dealers listed and advertising in this issue of Antic. For specific books and resources, please see the Buyers' Guide, also in this issue. It contains the best products (all available) picked by our staff, along with manufacturers' address and phone numbers. -ANTIC ED
I've been programming with the new Action! language and loving every minute of it. It's fast and fairly easy to learn, but I wish I could have more program examples to learn from. Are you planning to carry more Action! listings? How about something on disk?
Grand Rapids, MI
Well, folks, what do you think? We'd really like to find out how much interest exists for Action! Drop us a line, and let everybody know. -ANTIC ED
I would like to inform fellow Antic readers of a company that advertised in your magazine but never shipped a product. Novin never sent I me the ANTICA-4 I ordered and paid for, and never responded to any of my subsequent letters. What happened?
Unfortunately, Novin went out of business with a number of unfilled orders from our subscribers. If it makes you feel any better, they owe us money too.