FOURTH ANNUAL ANTIC SHOPPERS GUIDEby GIGI BISSON Antic Assistant Editor
of the Antic Staff
This has been a year of exciting changes in the Atari marketplace. Here's Antic's selection of over 100 best products-of every type-available for Atari computers during the 1985 holiday season.
In certain widespread categories, such as printers, modems and video monitors, so many makes and models are compatible with the Atari that we cannot possibly test every product on the market. The Antic picks in these categories are the best of these products with which we have had first-hand experience.
The 130XE showed up in stores this spring without any fanfare. It has been selling fast-at prices as low as $119.97-and customers are more than satisfied. With twice as much memory as the 800XL, this 128K computer is capable of running "serious" productivity software without any compromise.
Yet the 130XE is totally upward-compatible with all the rest of Atari's 8-bit computers (no other company has ever maintained such compatibility) and the sleek new keyboard is a joy to operate. A computer this good, selling for less than what the 800XL cost in 1984, would have been simply unimaginable 18 months ago.
It's hard to believe that the 800XL-along with the legendary 800 the best 64K personal computer ever made-is now selling for less than $100 and no longer is in production. If Atari continues to market a low-priced 64K computer in the U.S., it will be same 65XE model which is available in Canada and overseas. However, the 800XL is still a fine choice for first-time computer buyers in 1985, with its solid base of good software and self-teaching books.
Here is the future of Atari. The 520ST arrived in July with 512K memory, a 360K, 3 1/2-inch disk drive, a color monitor, a two-button mouse and the GEM icon-driven operating interface, and a choice between 640x400 monochrome monitor or a 512-color RGB monitor. This computer package costs less than a stripped-down 64K Apple IIe.
There has never been a personal computer as powerful as the 520ST available at anywhere near the below-$ 1,000 price. The ST series is driven by the same Motorola 68000 microchip used in the Macintosh, the high-powered 68000 runs on the ST at a speed of 8Mhz (eight million cycles per second). The ST's built-in interfaces include RS-232 serial, Centronics parallel, MIDI and three types of video input. The keyboard is controlled by its own microprocessor and includes a 10-key pad, one-touch cursor section, 10 programmable function keys and an UNDO key.
$799.95 with monochrome monitor
$999.95 with color monitor
At this writing, Atari says it is still planning an October release of the 260ST model announced at the June Consumer Electronics Show. The 260STM ($399.95) was to have 256K memory. It would sell without a monitor, and a television RF modulator would be built-in. GEM would be in memory-conserving ROM chips instead of on disk. (Atari has promised that 520ST owners will be able to obtain the finalized GEM on simple plug-in chips at "nominal cost.") A 260STFM model was to include a built-in 3 1/2-inch disk drive and sell for $499.95.
Atari Corporation, 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086 (408) 745-2000
(Model numbers and prices of Atari Corp. products described in this Shoppers Guide may be subject to change.)
See the ST SECTION in this issue for the Shoppers Guide to ST Peripherals and Software.
This dependable "no frills" drive simply reads and writes disks, with no digital readouts, no printer ports, no on-board bells and whistles. But it is a proven reliable performer that does the job well, supports single and enhanced density and is immediately compatible with all Atari software. Comes with well-programmed DOS 2.5 disk operating system.
$199.95. Atari corp., 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. (408) 745-2000.
Indus has reduced the price of the "Mercedes" of Atari drives. This reliable disk drive has a sexy, high-tech look and has been recently enhanced with Syncromesh, a DOS that runs it faster than ever. The front panel flaunts a flashing digital display and four control buttons. Whisper quiet, the Indus supports single, enhanced and double density and comes in a compact carrying case that converts to a disk library. You also get software including DOS XL, a simple word processor and a spreadsheet.
$324.95. Indus Systems, 9304 Deering Avenue, Chatsworth, CA 91311. (818) 882-9600.
Offering both speedy draft quality and great-looking "near letter quality," the SG-10 dot-matrix printer is a worthy successor to Star's deservedly popular Gemini 10X. Antic has successfully used the SG-10 with AtariWriter, PaperClip, HomePak, Letter Perfect, Print Shop, and every program from our March 1985 Printer Issue. We also use the "near letter quality" mode to prepare all the program listings in the magazine. Sold for much less than the list price at many outlets. Interface required.
$299.99. Star Micronics, Inc. 200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166. (212) 986-6770.
Don't let the low price fool you. Epson's first daisy wheel printer offers true letter-quality for the masses. It's no speed demon at 10 characters per second and it doesn't come with a tractor feed. But the DX-10 is a real value breakthrough with excellent type quality and costly features like boldface, underlining, superscript, subscript and easily changed cartridge ribbon. Interface required.
$299. Epson America, Inc., 2780 Lomita Boulevard, Torrance, CA 90505. (213) 539-9140.
C. ITOH 8510 SEP+
A fast dot-matrix printer that's built like a tank, for years of heavy business or academic use. The "near letter quality" type is bold and clear-about what you'd get on a manual typewriter with a cloth ribbon. Speedy 180 cps at draft mode, full ASCII character set with true descenders, subscript, superscript, underlining, friction and tractor feed. Interface required.
$549. C. Itoh Digital Products, Inc., 1011 Francisco Street, Torrance, CA 90502. (213) 327-5939.
As Antic went to press, Atari told us that two new printers for the 8-bit computer line would arrive in October. The $229.95 letter quality XDMl2l is a daisy wheel printer. The $199.95 XMM804 dot-matrix model supports graphics and prints 80 characters per second. Either model uses the Atari's regular SIO connectors and will daisychain with disk drives.
Atari Corp., 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. (408) 745-2000.
The Okimate 10 is a small, quiet and inexpensive thermal printer that prints 8" x 5 1/4" color images on single sheet or tractor feed paper. It comes with a slow, poorly designed BASIC program that will make color printouts from most Micro Illustrator files, if you have an XL/XE computer with 48K memory and DOS 2. However, the way to get truly impressive color printouts from the Oki is to use RAMbrandt software ($19.95, Antic Catalog, AP157) and coated ink-jet paper.
$208 including Atari interface. Okidata Corp., 532 Fellowship Road, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054. (609) 235-2600.
Yes, it's a first. You are actually seeing Antic Magazine recommend a product from Atari's arch-rival. Until arrival of Atari's long-promised line of $150 monitors, the popular Commodore 1702 may well be the best deal around for color/ sound video. The big plus here is the sharp color image provided by the 1702's separate chrominance and luminance output, which will also go great with your VCR. Standard video output is also provided.
$225. Commodore Computer, 1200 WIlson Drive, West Chester, PA 19380. (800) 247-9000.
This amber monochrome monitor makes for easy reading, especially when doing a lot of word processing or database entry. We use this here at Antic with an Atari 800 computer and our busiest letter-quality printer. It does the job well.
$199. Amdek, 2201 Lively Boulevard, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. (312) 36-4-1180.
This color monitor offers clear, crisp hues with equally good sound. You can adjust brightness, color, tint, volume and sharpness. At Antic it's a favorite for game-playing. Note: Color monitors cannot support 80-column screens, most desirable for word processing. (Not that it's easy to find an 80-column enhancement for Atari today.)
$399. NEC Home Electronics, 1401 EstesAvenue, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. (312) 228-5900.
A simple hardware modification for your 1050 disk drive that gives you true double density. Supports the ultra-fast I/O features of SpartaDOS disk operating system.
$69.95 including SpartaDOS. lCD Inc., 1220 Rock Street, Suite 310, Rockford, 1L61 101. (815) 229-2999.
Unravel the secrets of top programmers. This easy hardware modification provides a resident machine language monitor and lets you examine commercial programs in memory while they run.
$69.95. CDY Consulting, 421 Hanbee, Richardson, TX, 75080. (214) 235-2146.
This professional-quality EPROM bumer is a cartridge that plugs right into your Atari and programs chips from its own built-in socket. It can be used to program a wide variety of EPROM and EEPROM types. And it's easier to use than any other bumer made for the Atari.
$149, 32K cartridge. Thompson Electronics, 7 Jackes Avenue, Suite 502, Toronto, Ontario M4T 1E3, Canada. (416) 960-1089.
C.E.A. HOME CONTROL
If you want to use your Atari to regulate a home appliance control system, the C.E.A. hardware-software package uses a joystick port interface to start or stop as many as four devices. A heater/ac temperature controller is included, and the BASIC software is reprogrammable.
$89.95, 48K disk. Computer Engineering Applications, RO. Box 4878, Las Vegas NV 89127.
COMPETITION PRO 5000
Designed to bring an "arcade feel" to the Atari, the Model 5000 joystick features a microswitch assembly for greater accuracy and higher scores. Comes with a five-foot cord and unconditional two-year warranty.
$17.95. Competition Pro, 2609 Greenleaf Avenue, Elk Grove, IL 60007.(312) 228-1810.
As soon as a review copy of this slow-scan video acquisition system arrived at Antic, we set up a video camera and started digitizing pictures of everyone who would sit still long enough. Then we printed out the images with Print Shop, tinted, retouched and defaced them with touch tablets, and even sent them out on CompuServe. You can also capture images from videotape recorder, video disk or live TV. Includes interface module and software on disk. For $399.95, the package includes a basic black & white video-camera.
$129.95, 48K disk. Digital Vision, Inc., 14 Oak Street, Suite 2, Needham, MA 02192. (617) 444-0940.
(Software Automatic Mouth)
S.A.M. is a voice synthesizer on a disk that sounds just about as good as the much more expensive "black box" voicemakers. S.A.M. is fun, flexible, easy to use and has a good manual. You can add speech to your own BASIC and machine language programs. S.A.M. uses only 9K memory and works with all Atari computers.
$59.95, 16K disk. Tronlx, 8295 5. La Cienega Boulevard, Inglewood, CA 90301. (213) 215-0529.
The Atari 850 Interface Module is a versatile tool that converts data from your computer into formats compatible with the RS232 serial standard used by most modems, and also for the Centronics parallel standard used by most printers. It's not easy finding an 850 at your local computer store. See August, 1985 Antic for a list of dealers.
$87-$1 60, depending on dealer. Atari Corp., 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086, (408) 745-2000.
Quadram's Microfazer is a printer buffer that eliminates those frustrating pauses as you wait for your 25-page masterpiece to print. The Microfazer comes in different buffer sizes. Three are listed below When choosing, figure on 2K per printed page.
$179/8K, $299/64K. Quadram Corporation, 4355 International Boulevard, Norcross, GA 30093, (404) 923-6666.
The Interfast-l is a programmable printer interface with 4K RAM for use as a printer buffer or as storage for custom character sets. A software utilities disk is included to allow for downloading character sets into the Interfast-l and using those character sets with your word processing program and graphics printer. It provides a Centronics parallel interface. Used as a buffer, it stores about two text pages.
$129.95. Advanced Interface Devices, P0 Box 2188, Melbourne, FL 32901. (305) 242-2772.
What more can we say about the inexpensive and widely used 300 baud Atari 1030 modem? All you need is 16K and a telephone line-you can telecommunicate without even an interface or a disk drive. However, disk communications software is included, along with a free introductory subscription to CompuServe and Dow Jones Retrieval Service.
$59.95. Add-On Systems, 524 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.
HAYES SMARTMODEM 1200/2400
Hayes is the industry standard. The Smart-modem 1200 ($599) offers solid construction, direct connection, automatically adjusted baud rate, internal speaker, auto-answering and the best documentation around. You can use it with radioteletype, as a data line monitor, as a local network or you can configure internal DIP switches to suit your needs. The 2400 ($899) offers all of these features plus 2400 baud, compatibility with Bell 103, 212A and CCITTB.22 communication standards, auto answer, autodial, non-volatile memory, and is software controlled, so no extemal switches are needed.
Hayes Microcomputer Products, 5835 Peachtree Corner East, Norcross, GA 30092. (404) 449-8791.
Anchor Automation is replacing the MKXII, with the Express, a competitively priced ($399), 99.9% Hayes compatible with more features for the same price. This direct-connect, multiple-baud modem has autodial, auto answer, 18 programmable set registers, eight LED lights, eight dip switches, speaker with volume control and a memory chip that stores 10 phone numbers. You'll need an RS-232-to-DB cable (about $22) to connect to the 850 interface. Two year warranty.
$399. Anchor Automation, 6913 Valjean Avenue. Van Nuys, CA 91406. (818) 997-7758.
Hourly rates and membership fees for commercial online services are subject to change. Contact individual companies for latest information. You'll need a modem to hook up.
The leading online information service, Compuserve offers stock quotes, news, weather, airline reservations, games, recipes, shopping and special interest groups on dozens of topics-including the ANTIC ONLINE edition and an active SIG * Atari with hundreds of downloadable programs. Evening and weekend rates are $6 per hour for 300 baud and $7.75 for 1200 baud. $40 entry fee. Highly addictive.
500 Arlington Center, Box 20212, Columbus, OH 43220. (800) 848-8199; in Ohio (614) 457-8600.
Delphi offers news, electronic mail, and searchable databases. But it specializes in user-created files, which may be either public or private. Seek expert advice, confer in realtime with other users, and look for SIG*Atari and ANTIC ONLINE too. Lifetime registration is regularly $49.95, which includes two free evening hours. Evening and weekend rate is $6 an hour for 300 or 1200 baud.
3 Blackstone Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. (800) 544-4005; in MA (617) 491-3393.
Now this strong general-information online network also offers speedy 2400 baud premium service. Membership fee of $49.95 includes unlimited free time to learn the system in an online tutorial. Latest pricing is by the minute. Evening and weekend rates per minute are: 14 cents for 300 baud, 18 cents for 1200 baud and 20 cents for 2400 baud.
1616 Anderson Road, McLean, VA 22102. (703) 734-7500.
GAMES COMPUTERS PLAY
Enter gameworld... log on and suddenly you're in a wonderland of bold, state-of-the-art online color graphics. Your Atari's playmate is a powerful 300 megabyte minicomputer that offers spectacular interactive games, real-time conferencing, electronic mail and public domain downloads. Requires 48K disk drive, 1200 baud modem recommended. Evening and weekend rate is $6 an hour.
112 East Market Street, York, PA 17401. (717) 848-2660.
The software in this section runs on all 8-bit Atari computers, unless a required minimum memory size is specified in the entry. Software for the new 16-bit ST models is described in this issue's ST Section.
RAMbrandt produces spectacular color or monochrome images in five graphics modes. It has onscreen windowing, three text fonts, zoom, paint, animation, rubber stamp, 128 colors onscreen at once and many additional high-powered features. This is the only Atari graphics software you can buy that is compatible with the inexpensive Okimate 10 color printer.
$19.95, 48K disk. Antic Catalog, AP157.
Micro-Painter is the. original and best-known joystick drawing program for Atari, and it set a standard format for graphics files. It uses Graphics 7 1/2, a high resolution, four-color mode. The program's drawing tools include rubber band, fill and magnify. Just as Antic was going to press, we learned that the manufacturer was shutting its doors. So if you can't find Micro-Painter at a nearby store, PD Micropaint Artist is a public domain program (Antic Catalog, PD053) that does the same job.
$34.95, 48K disk. DataSoft, 19808 Nordhoff Place, Chatsworth, CA 91311. (213)701-5161.
You can't just go into the store and buy Micro Illustrator. This is the graphics software that comes with virtually all touch tablets and light pens made for the Atari. The easy-handling four-color drawing program features line, circle, mirror and fill modes-and offers many styles of "brushes" to draw with. Your finished pictures can be saved on disk in compacted form, or in standard MicroPainter format.
ATARI TOUCH TABLET
The stylus has a built-in button controller and won't get lost because it's attached by cable to a sturdy tablet. This is the easiest tool for creating fine Atari graphics. But it can be tough to find. Runs powerful, easy-to-use Micro Illustrator software (under AtariArtist brandname) in a handy cartridge.
$59.95, 32K cartridge. Atari Corp., 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. (408) 745-2000.
KOALA LIGHT PEN
The KoalaPad's Atari version may be hard to find in stores this Christmas. But the manufacturer has assured us that the popular graphics tablet is still being manufactured and supported for the Atari. Available at the same price is the Koala Light Pen, which also uses Micro Illustrator on disk. Call Koala's toll-free number for your nearest dealer.
$99.95 each, 48K disk. Koala Technologies, 2065 Junction Avenue, San Jose, CA 95131. (800) KOA-BEAR.
RESCUE ON FRACTALUS
The long-awaited Lucasfilm arcade games are everything you would expect in the "Star Wars" tradition. Ballblazer puts you at the controls of a hovercraft-like Rotofoil in the year 3097 as you participate in a futuristic soccer bout. Rescue on Fractalus puts you in the cockpit of a Valkyrie Fighter cruising at mach 7.2. This space-age flight simulator takes you over detailed fractal landscapes and offers 16 levels of play. From the exquisite animation while the games are loading, to the music and the challenging action-these games define state-of-the-art.
$40 each, 48K disk. Epyx, Inc., 1043 Kiel Court, Sunnyvale, CA 94089. (408) 745-0700.
Colonize a planet with the "aid" of the balky Multiple Use Labor Element robots. Food and minerals are quite limited. So, do you cooperate with the other players (up to four) or do you double-cross them?
$22.95, 48K disk. Electronic Arts, 2755 Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA 94403. (415) 571-7171.
The better microcomputer chess programs, like this one, are currently competitive with even some mainframe programs-and certainly play chess well beyond the skill of most non-pro humans. Larry Atkin, who programmed Odesta Chess, also helped write the ground-breaking CHESS program at Northwestern University.
$69.95, 48K disk. Odesta Corp., 4084 Commercial Avenue, Northbrook, IL 60062. (312) 498-5615.
SPY VS. SPY
Cartoonist Antonio Prohias' black and white peak-capped secret agents have been double-crossing each other in Mad Magazine since 1960. You and your opponent leave traps for each other-bombs, electrified water, guns with strings attached to the trigger-and rely on an arsenal of remedies. Brings out the sadist in you!
$29.95, 48K disk, First Star Software, 18 E. 41 Street, New York, NY, 10017. (212) 532-4666.
Lifespan is a surrealistic collection of five games that takes you on a kaleidoscopic journey through human existence-and gives you much to think about afterwards. Programmer John O'Neill has been called "the Salvador Dali of computer games.
$17.95, 48K disk. Antic Catalog, LS100.
GREAT CROSS COUNTRY ROAD RACE
This is the Ferrari Dino of race games. It's got variety, clever illusions, great sounds and scenery. None of that crash-and-burn mentality here. In this game, your opponent is time-and you'll spend lots of it losing yourself in one of the best releases of the year.
$24.95, 48K disk. Activision, 2350 Bayshore Frontage Road, Mountain View, CA 94043. (415) 960-0410.
FLIGHT SIMULATOR II
The most advanced flight simulation program available for the Atari puts you in the pilot's seat of a Piper Cherokee Archer. Features color scenery of Chicago, New York, Seattle and Los Angeles, and 80 usable airports. Remember, this is a sophisticated training program that requires learning very precise and detailed operating instructions.
$49.95, 48K disk. Sublogic Corporation, 713 Edgebrook Drive, Champaign, IL 61820. (217) 359-8482.
The big difference between this game and others of the genre is that it incorporates trivia questions into a race around a game board (ala Trivial Pursuit.) It's also the first trivia game to utilize the graphic and scrolling capabilities of the Atari with first-rate graphics and animation.
$39.95, 48K disk. Royal Software, 2160W. 11th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97402. (503) 683-5361.
F-15 STRIKE EAGLE
Your first mission sends you to Libya to bomb military airfields. Launch into aerial combat with this almost too realistic joystick-controlled computerization of seven sky battlezones over the Mid-East and Viet Nam. You get state-of-the-art weapons systems, computerized radar, eight supersonic guided missiles, 18 bombs and a 20 mm cannon with 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
$34.95, 48K disk. MicroProse Software, 120 Lakefront Drive, Hunt Valley, MD 21030. (301) 667-1151.
Strap on your headset and pop a few No-Doz tablets-you'll be glad when this shift is over. This exciting air traffic controller simulation even includes computer-generated speech. Rescue passengers from emergencies, and control 20 different aircraft coming in from all directions to land at the nation's busiest airports.
$34.95, 48K disk. Microprose Software, 120 Lakefront Drive, Hunt Valley, MD 21030. (301) 667-1151.
GAME SOFTWARE YOU CAN TRUST
You could walk into a store blindfolded and buy almost any Atari title from these publishers with the confidence that you now own a highly enjoyable game or application. Most of these products require 48K memory and a disk drive. Prices range from $19 to $60.
Infocom is almost synonymous with critically acclaimed, slickly packaged interactive text adventure games. Like paperback novels, they come in genres such as science fiction, fantasy, detective mysteries and Indiana Jones-ish thrillers. Unlike paperback novels, the lead character is you
Many Infocom games are packaged with goodies like maps, lab reports, journals, hieroglyphic stone rubbings and truly hilarious manuals. Our favorites are the pure fantasy worlds (Zork, Enchanter, Sorcerer) and anything written by Steven Zeretsky (Planetfall). This year's biggest hit was Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, based on the eccentric Douglas Adams novel.
Infocom, Inc. 55 Wheeler Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. (617) 492-1031.
Strategy War Games:
STRATEGIC SIMULATIONS INC.
In these historically accurate, complex military simulations, you can wear the shoes of Napoleon, Eisenhower and other fabled commanders as you lead your nation to battle.
Some of the SSI titles we reviewed enthusiastically this year are Computer Ambush, Reforger '88, Kampfgruppe and Broadsides. Classic introductions to the genre include Field of Fire and Eagles.
Strategic Simulations, Inc., 883 Stierlin Road, Bldg. A-200, Mountain
Viev, CA 94043. (415)
In 1985, one of the most successful publishers of game and applications software joined forces with another outstanding publisher that specialized in Atari software. Now, you can't miss with almost any Atari title from Broderbund or Synapse.
For proof, try the addictive ladder action of Loderunner or Pharaoh's Curse, the high-flying excitement of Choplifter or Blue Max 2001.
Broderbund/Synapse. 17 Paul Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903. (415) 479-1170.
Your college-bound offspring might groan when they unwrap S.A.T. preparation software instead of a tape deck that costs just as much, but they'll thank you for it later Computer Preparation for the SAT by Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich includes 3 disks and a 50-page manual. They offer a fine 469-page book How to Prepare for the SAT (sold separately for $7.95). Krell's College Board SAT Exam Preparation Series includes a 47-page booklet and an intimidating set of eight double-sided disks.
$79.95, 48K disk. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 757 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017. (800) 543-1918.
$229.95, 48K disk. Krell Software, 1320 Stony Brook Road, Stony Brook, NY 11790. (516) 751-5139.
No more hunting and pecking as you PEEK and POKE. You'll have fast fingers in no time, along with a laugh or two with the "Wizard of Id" comic-strip characters as your guide. WizType is more than a typing tutor-it teaches proper finger positioning, lets you create your own typing lessons, and includes an amusing game.
$34.95, 48K disk. Sierra Online, P.O. Box 485, Coarsegold, CA 93614. (209) 683-6858.
SEAHORSE HIDE N' SEEK
You're in Venice in a gondola and have to pick up ducks who want to go to Lido Beach. But watch out for the hippo who upsets boats. Ducks Ahoy!, developed by Joyce Hakansson Associates, helps young children with their fine motor coordination and counting skills. The crisp graphics, adorable ducks and equally cute sound effects make Ducks Ahoy! one of the years' best.
Sea Horse Hide 'n' Seek is anotherJoyce Hakansson winner. By manuvering a seahorse through a coral reef and away from old wrecks and lagoon fish, this adventure program teaches kids about underwater life.
$12.95 each, 16K cartridge. Ages 3-6. CBS Software, One Fawcett Place, Greenwich, CT 06836. (203) 622-2614.
We can't imagine a more timely gift for the astronomy buff than Halley Patrol. With this joystick-driven, astronomically accurate program, you can watch the comet fly through space against a high-resolution scrolling map. Celestial coordinates indicate the best time and location to view the comet. Flip the disk for an educational graphic presentation on the history of Halley.
$17.95, 48K disk. Ages 12 to adult. Antic Catalog, AP159.
A must if you own a telescope. This graphically stunning scrolling map and space atlas offers detailed scientific data for hundreds of the brightest stars. With its extensive documentation, the program is equivalent to a college-level introductory astronomy class.
$19.95, 48K disk. Ages 12 to adult. Antic Catalog, AP142.
It's rare when educational software programs are more than just computerized textbooks. Earthviews is a computerized atlas and adventure/trivia game that features detailed high resolution maps and a 3-D view of earth rotating on any axis.
$19.95, 48K disk. Ages l2 to adult. Antic Catalog, AP141.
Children's book illustrator Richard Hefter's Stickybear series is lauded by educators as an educational software classic Stickybear shows flapping geese, waddling penguins and chugging trains in groups of one through nine, depending upon the number key that the child presses. Children learn how to count, add and subtract, and get a Stickybear counting book, poster and stickers too.
$29.95, 48K disk. Ages 3-6. xerox/weekly Reader, 245 Long Hill Road, Middletown, CT 06457. (203) 347-7251.
TUK GOES TO TOWN,
TONK IN THE LAND OF
TINK'S SUBTRACTION FAIR
For years, writer Mercer Mayer has been delighting children (and the Antic staff) with his funny little mechanical monsters. In Tink's Adventure, children get a chance to learn the alphabet and the computer keyboard. When Tuk Goes To Town, there are adventures leading to spelling and vocabulary practice, memory building and hours of fun. Tonk in the Land of the Buddy-Bots has six games, each with four levels of play, ensuring a fairly long game time. Tonk's Subtraction Fair strengthens math skills as Tonk goes to a carnival and plays five different games. The animated robots and music will draw the whole family to the computer screen.
$34.95 each, 48K disk. Ages 4-8. Mindscape, Inc., 3444 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL 60062. (312) 480-7667.
Look out Evelyn Woods! This excellent, well-documented program increases your reading speed, improves eye movement, character and word recognition, and peripheral vision. Reading Compuserve at 1200 baud will be a piece of cake.
$64.95, 16K disk. net Corp., 536 Weddell Drive, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. (415) 797-9600.
This package integrates word processing, a filing manager and telecommunications-ideal for serious telecommunications users. Written by Russ Wetmore and used by all his fellow CompuServe SIG * Atari sysops. It's worth buying just for HomeTerm, a telecommunications program that will work with just about any 300 or 1200 baud modem.
$49.95, 48K disk. Batteries Included, 30 Mural Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 1 B5, Canada. (416) 881-9941.
For less than one tenth of the price of a Hayes Smartmodem, you can use Smart 1030 software to upgrade your 1030 modem for compatibility with the Hayes standard command set, plus additional features like autodial, onscreen help commands and a BBS database. It also allows you to use other popular modem programs without the hard-to-find Atari 850 Interface Module.
$19.95, 16K disk. E&B Computer Services, P.O. Box 292506, Columbus, OH, 43229.
BBS CONSTRUCTION SET
Now you can personalize your bulletin board without needing to write programs. Create online surveys, 65,792 security levels, private email and more. Supports 300, 1200 and 2400 baud modems.
$24.95, 48K disk. Antic Catalog, AP146.
If you want to log on to a mainframe from home, (or Kermit between an XL and an ST) you need the Chameleon CRT Terminal Emulator. This invaluable program lets your Atari act like a variety of computer terminals such as a DEC VT-52 or IBM 3031. Wide-screen 80-column emulation, UNIX-compatible, autodial. Supports Hayes-compatible and Atari 835/1030 modems.
$19.95, 48K disk. Antic Catalog, AP113.
State-of-the-art telecommunications software for 300, 1200 and 2400 baud. With Backtalk your Atari can autodial other BBS's in the middle of the night and upload or download files in any of three protocols. Extra-large buffer supports l30XE RAMdisk. You can create unlimited macro libraries. Written in compiled ACTION! by the programmers of Paper Clip and Synfile+.
$19.95, 48K disk. Antic Catalog, AP154.
LANGUAGES & TOOLS
BASIC XL had long been the classiest, most powerful BASIC language available for Atari programmers. Now new BASIC XE is here from O.S.S. to harness the full 128K memory of the 130XE computer- yet it also works with Atari XL computers. BASIC XE is said to run Atari BASIC programs at least twice as fast, and it comes with an array of new statements, automated editing features and extra utilities.
$79, cartridge plus 48K disk. Optimized Systems Software, 1221B Kentwood Avenue, San Jose, CA, 95129. (408) 446-3099.
Create custom character sets with your joystick. Build arcade-style, high resolution game routines. Instedit has been used by more professional Atari programmers than any other character editor. Requires Atari BASIC.
$15.95, 48K disk. Antic Catalog, AP117.
This amazingly fast and powerful language blends elements of Pascal and C-but is much easier to program on the Atari. ACTION! contains a superior screen editor that makes programming a joy and was the basis of the outstanding Paper Clip word processor.
$99, 16K cartridge. Optimized Systems Software, 1221 B Kentwood Avenue, San Jose, CA 95129. (408) 446-3099.
DEEP BLUE C
C is the most widely accepted programming language for the new generation of big-memory personal computers like the ST The Deep Blue C Compiler is a proper subset of C, so programs written for it will run almost without change on computers supporting the full language. Requires 48K, and a text editor such as Word Magic.
$19.95. Antic Catalog, AP114.
Finally, a Pascal for the Atari that doesn't require two disk drives and a computer science degree to use. This is a fast version with all of the features of Standard Pascal, the teaching and programming language widely used in colleges. Comes with a built-in editor, search and replace, and a library of graphics routines. Compiles files directly into assembly language.
$69.95, 64K double density disk. Kyan Software, 1850 Union Street, #183, San Francisco, CA 94123. (415) 775-2923.
MAC/65 ASSEMBLER EDITOR
If you want to program in assembly language, MAC/65 is the assembler editor to buy. It's compatible with the Atari Assembler Editor, as long as you don't use MAC/65's powerful extra commands. MAC/65 contains a speedy compiler and a truly excellent debugger.
$80, 16K disk; $99, 16K cartridge. Optimized Systems Software, 1221 B Kentwood Avenue, San Jose, CA, 95129. (408) 446-3099.
MMG BASIC COMPILER
Convert your BASIC programs into binary machine language files that will run up to 15 times faster than the original. Unlike other compilers, MMG will also produce assembly source code which you can analyze and alter. Choose between integer and floating point arithmetic and put your data statements anywhere. Available in both double and single density, requires BASIC.
$99.95, 48K disk. MMG Micro Software, P.O. Box 131, Marlboro, NJ 07746. (201)431-3472.
With this disk sector editor you can customize any program in your library on the Atari 1050 (or 810) disk drive. You don't need to be an assembly language programmer to modify commercial software, alter programs to easily access RAMdisks, change title screens, customize menus, even disassemble from the disk itself. Any machine language file will reveal its secrets to Sherlock.
$19.95, 48K disk. Antic Catalog, AP155.
This powerful printer dump mixes text and graphics for hardcopies from most of the popular printers. Can print sideways on the page. Includes special handlers for popular graphics programs. Changes type size directly from your keyboard. By the author of Kwik Dump (Antic, March 1985).
$29.95, 16K disk. Allen Macroware, P.O. Box 2205, Redondo Beach, CA 90278. (213) 376-4105.
These two utilities (sold separately) can stretch your dot-matrix printer to its limits. Lister Plus ($19.95) among many other things, dumps any listed file (including programs) to the printer using any custom character set you choose. Picture Plus ($29.95) manipulates most types of picture files, so you can save them in standard files that can be used with a BASIC program, or dump them to the printer in any of four sizes. Requires BASIC and 48K disk.
Non-Standard Magic, P0. Box 45, Girard, OH 44420. (216) 539-6033.
PRINTSHOP (& LIBRARIES)
Just open any Atari users group newsletter to see samples of how popular this graphics printing program is. Virtually foolproof to operate, no wonder Print Shop is Broderbund's best seller. Unwrap this one before Christmas. In minutes, you'll be cranking out nifty Christmas cards, wrapping paper and signs.
Volumes I & II of the Print Shop Library ($24.95 each) are collections of icons, doodles and dingbats ranging from bowling pins to safety pins. These popular illustrations feed right into your Print Shop and pop up everywhere in newsletters, school reports, and brochures.
$49.95, 48K disk. Broderbund Software, 17 Paul Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903. (415) 479-1170.
Now you can use your graphics editing tools such as Micro-Painter, KoalaPad or Atari Touch Tablet to create decorative icons and graphics files for Broderbund's Print Shop graphics printing program.. We've been using Graphics Shop at Antic to convert digitized photos taken with Computereyes into portraits of the staff. Then we print them out with Print Shop and place our faces on greeting cards, letterheads and other goodies to send home to Mom.
$19.95, 48K disk. Antic Catalog, AP156.
When we use a product day after day to produce this magazine, you know it has the Antic Seal of Approval. We write and edit every word with Paper Clip before transmitting the copy to our typesetter via modem. PC lives up to the manufacturer's claim that it's a professional word processor suitable for people who do heavy writing. Paper Clip is easy to learn, offers a split screen with cut-and-paste between both windows, one-key macros, readable characters with true descenders, double-column printing, and virtually every editing feature you'd find in word processing software at ten times the price.
$59.95, 16K disk. Batteries Included, 30 Mural Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 1B5 Canada. (416)881-9941.
Switching between modes (i.e. edit to print) as well as zipping throughout your document is a breeze with Letter Perfect. You can move from word to word, beginning to end of text easily. Letter Perfect lets you chain files (but not move text from one file to another) and runs easily with a variety of printers. It includes a spelling checker of approximately 30,000 words. If you want a larger dictionary to which you can add words, you can add UK's Spell Perfect ($79.95).
$99.95, 32K disk. UK Enterprises, 7852 Big Bend Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63119. (314) 962-1855.
As Antic goes to press, we've only seen an early beta test copy of AtariWriter+. But if It gets to the stores in time for the holidays you should check it out- especially if you're a fan of Atari's original word processing software. Atariwriter + promises a built-in mail merge and spelling checker, plus full use of the l30XE's extra memory for file space
$49.95 approximately. Atari Corp., 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. (408) 745-2000.
This new, enhanced version of the Word Magic word processor has pop-up menus, online help files,- cut and paste features, and a variety of type fonts-all for under $20. Use a joystick or trakball to move the cursor and scan files rapidly. Comes with Graphic Magic bonus program that mixes your own graphics with text for printing on an Epson or Gemini. Now uses extra memory in l30XE computer.
$19.95, 48K disk. Antic Catalog, AP130.
Daniel Webster would roll over in his grave if he could see this 34,000-word integrated computerized dictionary. Run your Word Magic (or other AtariWriter-compatible) documents through this spelling checker and watch mistakes disappear. Spell Magic has online help, online menus, and lets you add your own dictionaries of up to 10,000 words each.
$19.95, 48K disk. Antic Catalog, AP144.
$24.95 for all three-Spell Magic, Word Magic and Graphic Magic.
This spreadsheet and database are the keystones of the best integrated (file-compatible) productivity applications series for the Atari currently available. Each program in the series is powerful, yet easy to operate with pop-up menus and simple commands. SynCalc is the best Atari spreadsheet on the market, and it's compatible with VisiCalc files. SynFile + is a powerful database system, but under hard use it reveals some bugs and has inadequate report writing capacity. Also in the series: Syntrend, a combined graphing and statistical program; SynStock, which tracks and displays charts of your stock market holdings.
$49.95 each, 48K disk. Synapse (Broderbund) Software, 17 Paul Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903. (415) 479-1170.
This popular package has been around a while on many different computers. Menu-driven Home Accountant tracks five checkbooks, displays graphs, makes balance sheets and forecasts. It can even print checks, a highly useful feature for professionals and small businesses that don't need a full accounting system. Compatible with Continental's annual Tax Advantage ($69.95), which does year-round tax planning and then prints out your Form 1040 line-by-line.
$74.95, 48K disk. Continental Software, 671 Valjean Avenue, Van Nuys, CA 90045. (800) 421-3930.
Creative Process is the Atari's first outline processor like "Think Tank." It's a conceptual organizing tool for making sense out of your busy agenda. This calendar, project manager, and time manager will make it easier for you to be more productive and creative.
$19.95, 48K disk. APX AP151.
HomeCard moves you closer to a paper-less desk. This computerized rolodex file brings your Christmas list, mailing list, personnel files and little black book into the electronic age. Create and print custorn labels, even autodial phone numbers with an Atari 1030 or Hayes-compatible modem. From Sparky Starks and Russ Wet-more, who programmed HomePak.
$24.95, 48K disk. Antic Catalog, RW100.
Finally, there is a genuine business accounting package for the Atari that handles most needs of a professional office, retailer, or other small company. Peachtree's Back To Basics accounting system was successful on the IBM and Macintosh before the Atari version came out. Includes Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and General Ledger modules. Prints attractive reports, address labels, even computer-issued checks. Computes finance charges, produces customer master lists and sales journals.
$195, 48K, two disk drives required. Peachtree Software, 3445 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta, GA 30326. (404) 239-3165.
This powerful database comes from the same company that makes the Letter Perfect word processor-so it's no surprise that the two programs are compatible. While not as easy to learn as Synfile +, Data Perfect has better report writing and global change capability. Works best with two disk drives.
$99.95, 32K disk. UK Enterprises, 7852 Big Bend Boulevard, St. Louis,
MO 63119. (314) 962-1855.